Fire at old Blacksburg High School not expected to impact sale of property

County leaders said the damage was primarily smoke, not structural

By Jessica Jewell - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Police are investigating after a fire broke out at the old Blacksburg High School on Saturday night.

They say they're treating it as arson, but don't yet have any suspects.

Investigators are still trying to figure out how a fire started in the auditorium of the old Blacksburg High School on Saturday night. WSLS 10 talked with county leaders about how this could impact the future of the property.

Saturday night, smoke was billowing out of the building. It took crews from three different departments several hours to put out the fire and clear the smoke.

"There was some damage, smoke primarily, and from what we've been told from fire officials, it was primarily the auditorium seats," Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Chairman Christopher Tuck said.

The county is in the process of selling the property to HS Development. Board of Supervisors Chairman Christopher Tuck says he's stayed in touch with the developers and they don't expect this to impact the sale.

"Based on what we've been told, we don't anticipate any structural damage. Now obviously, when the insurance adjusters go in, they may find some different things but based on what we're being told, it's (just) smoke damage and the auditorium seats," Tuck said.

Tuck says history is one reason the developer decided to purchase the property.

"Initially the Board of Supervisors looked at remodeling that building and renovating it and addressing after the roof collapse and so they're looking at those engineering reports to see what portions of the building they might want to utilize and what's consistent with what their plans are," Tuck said.

The developer hasn't yet decided whether to demolish parts of the building. Tuck says he hopes this fire won't impact that decision.

"There is value potentially in that building and I think it can be saved and utilized and I’d like to see it repurposed. I think that would do a lot for, one, the environment, repurposing something. But also the history of the school, it's been there for 34 years and that would be a good thing as well," Tuck said.

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