Fire forces razing of Woodstock structure
WOODSTOCK — Firefighters responded to a fire involving a combination retail-residential building at 164 Main St. early Friday morning.
Lt. Aaron Sigler, of the Woodstock Fire Department, described the scene upon their arrival.
“At 5:57 (a.m.) we were dispatched to reported structure fire,” he said. “We arrived on the scene and we had a two-story, end of the row taxpayer (a combination structure). We had fire showing from the back side of the house. We went to a defensive operation due to it being unsafe to enter the structure.”
The building’s bottom floor contained an antique and thrift store, Just Looking Antiques and Thrift Shop, and its top floor was residential. Sigler said that one resident was inside at the time of the fire, but was able to escape safely. Sigler noted that he was told there were no pets in the building either. According to Missy Holler, deputy treasurer for the Town of Woodstock, Just Looking Antiques and Thrift had been closed for roughly a year at the time of Friday’s blaze.
The fire required significant firefighter intervention to control.
“We got it under control (at) probably 8 or 9 o’clock,” Sigler said. “There was a lot of fire when we arrived on both stories and from the rear of the building.”
The fire’s cause and origin are still under investigation by the Shenandoah County fire marshal.
After control of the fire was established, the decision was made to raze the building. That decision, explained Sigler, was one based on safety concerns.
“It’s safer for the public (to raze the structure),” he said. “The walls were already starting to bow out due to the amount of fire and the load that was on the walls. It was safer to tear it down, instead of having it stand up where it could potentially fall at any time. This way it was a controlled takedown and we know it’s not going to fall on anybody.”
Sigler said once the building was deemed unsafe to enter, “we transitioned and we put a line to protect the (adjacent) structure and that was our main purpose was to make sure that we contained (the fire) to the fire building itself.”
The portion of Main Street (U.S. 11) that runs through town was shut down upon the arrival of fire personnel and was reopened around 12:30 p.m..
The fire was initially responded to by Woodstock Fire Department, Toms Brook Fire Department, Edinburg Fire Department, Woodstock Rescue and an ambulance from Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue. Additional resources and personnel were provided by the Strasburg Fire Department and Mount Jackson Fire and Rescue.
Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org