Units from Winchester, Frederick County, Clarke County and Mount Weather responded the fire around 12:30 p.m. Friday. They say the 911 call was received at 12:23 p.m. and Winchester Fire & Rescue were on the scene five minutes later.
Upon arrival, crews saw smoke coming from the roof of the multi-story center portion of the building. Other than a small demolition crew, the building was vacant. They say the fire continues to burn as there is currently no safe way to get to the location of the fire.
Firefighters say they were able to enter the building on the first floor through a large rolling door, as well as through upper-story windows. Four ladder trucks were on the scene.
Crews say at about 1:53 p.m., the concrete walls inside the building were beginning to crack from the extreme heat caused by the fire and the cool water from the hoses, so all firefighters were evacuated for safety precautions. So far, no injuries have been reported.
Around 8:00 p.m. officials reported that additional units from Martinsburg, Halfway, MD and Frederick, MD were on their way to assist on the scene. They said the fire was extinguished on the first four levels of the building, and that crews were working to put out flames on levels 5 and 6.
Officials reported there was still a significant amount of fire on the top two floors with very limited visibility.
Crews said they ordered an air boat from Frederick, MD to help blow the smoke out of the building.
Be sure to stay with WHAG for more information on this developing story.
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