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Apartment Fire in Winchester Displaces 20 Families

Fire officials say the call came in at 11:43 a.m. of a fire at an apartment complex on 64 Bellview Avenue.
WINCHESTER, Va. - Winchester and Frederick County Fire Departments say the large structure fire at the Bellview Apartments has displaced 20 families and damaged 16 units. No residents were hurt in the fire, however, two firefighters were taken to Winchester Medical Center for minor injuries. 

Fire officials announced Friday evening the fire was caused unintentionally by a 4-year-old child who was playing with a lighter. 

Fire officials say the call came in at 11:43 a.m. at an apartment complex on 64 Bellview Avenue.  They say a neighbor who lives adjacent to the apartments reported the blaze.

The Winchester Police Department arrived on the scene first and they say they began evacuating residents from the apartments. 

Portions of Loudon Street were shut down from Jubal Early Drive to north of Bellview Avenue. Bellview Avenue was also closed from Loudon Street to Braddock Street. Officials say one block of Braddock Street was also shut down from Bellview Avenue to Holiday Drive. Fire officials say those roads will be shutdown for an unknown period of time.

Officials say the War Memorial Building in Jim Barnett Park has been converted to an emergency shelter for the displaced families and provision are being provided by the Salvation Army. Families affected by the fire can call Lorrie Photon at (540)-664-2616 with the American Red Cross or the Winchester Red Cross at (540)-662-5412 if they have any questions.

Due to the emergency shelter in operation at the War Memorial Building, all indoor activities are canceled and the building is closed until further notice. 

Currently all units of Winchester and Frederick County Fire and Rescue are on the scene. Anyone with questions concerning the displaced families or the fire can call the police department's non-emergency number at (540)-662-4131. 

**photo courtesy of Shenandoah Valley Fire. 

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