By Linda Ash and Joe Beck
WINCHESTER -- The cause of a massive fire that destroyed a building at Moxon Timbers in Winchester on Monday evening remained unknown as the Frederick County Fire Marshal's Office continued its investigation Tuesday.
Firefighters still on the scene as of noon were spraying water on a large pile of rubble behind the main office building of the wholesale lumber and flooring company at 121 Development Lane near Kernstown.
A news release issued by the county fire and rescue department Tuesday described the damaged structure as "a total loss."
The news release cited a firefighter who was treated and released at a hospital as the only injury from the fire.
Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 8:04 p.m. and found flames already sweeping through the building.
Frederick County Fire and Rescue Chief Dennis Linaburg said Monday night that flames were through the roof of the open-sided structure. He noted that firefighters were focused on protecting the main office building.
"We have no idea of what caused it," Linaburg said Monday night. He noted that kilns used to dry wood are located in the structure where the fire occurred.
Flames and smoke from the fire could be seen from Interstate 81 and Va. 37 on Monday night.
Fire crews managed to contain 95 percent of the fire by 10:44 p.m. and had extinguished the biggest part of it by 11:32 p.m., according to the news release.
The news release stated the investigation is likely to be time consuming and require the fire marshal's office to remain on the scene for a long time. The release noted that heavy equipment from area businesses is being used to help fire crews.
Linaburg said Monday night that no employees were at the company when the fire broke out and no other injuries were reported. Damage estimates were not available.
An employee who answered the phone Tuesday at Moxon Timbers and identified himself only as "Shane" said he had "no idea" how long it will take to rebuild or when employees displaced by the fire could return to work.
In addition to Frederick County Fire and Rescue and the county's Battalion 10 duty officer, other units on the scene Monday included Stephens City, Middletown, Millwood, Gainesboro, Greenwood and Round Hill. Shawnee and South End assisted.
Fire crews were praised in the news release: "A special note of praise to all crews operating on the fire ground, they did an exceptional job at handling this fire."
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact editor Linda Ash at 540-465-5137 ext. 163, or email@example.com