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Farm supply store catches fire in Warrenton

Posted February 2, 2011

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— Firefighters from several cities and towns were called Wednesday evening when a massive fire broke out at a farm supply store near downtown Warrenton in Warren County.

The fire broke out just before 6 p.m. at Southern States Farm & Garden, at 216 W. Franklin St.

A spokeswoman for Warren County Fire and Rescue said that personnel were been positioned throughout the city as a precaution while crews, which included up to eight fire departments in the region, fought the fire.

Authorities said wind was a factor in the fire spreading so quickly through the building. 

Firefighters were letting the blaze burn out and using very little water late Wednesday in an effort to prevent too many chemicals from entering the water supply. Hazmat crews were also on the scene. 

The building, which used to be an old tobacco warehouse, is one of the town's oldest businesses, said Milton Cooper, an inspector with the Division of Motor Vehicles who was helping to direct traffic away from the area. 

"It's pretty much grain and feed. You can get pretty much get anything from there. It's your average hardware store. It's been at that location for years," he said. "It's a shame we lost it, but thank God nobody was there." 

Fifteen nearby homes from five surrounding blocks were evacuated, authorities said.

No injuries have been reported. 

Warrenton farm supply store catches fire Warrenton farm supply store catches fire

There is no word on the cause of the fire, which is believed to have started in the left rear of the building. The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in, but foul play is not suspected.

Mayor Pro Tem Woody King said the town is strong. 

"It pulls together during disaster and tragedy. So, I hope we will prove ourselves," he said. 

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  • tantdogtanthomeboy Feb 2, 2011

    Reports were heard that exploded. Not sure if it was on fire before the explosion.

  • Southern Girl Feb 2, 2011

    I have never been to Warrenton, but I have friends that have been there to go antique shopping. They say it is a wonderful, quaint town. This is really too bad. I hope the fire is contained and no other buildings are damaged - especially the library. Best wishes to everyone there - and God bless the fire fighters.

  • lildevil4eva18 Feb 2, 2011

    There were some rumors going around about the library being on fire but its not they are just spraying water on it cause they dont want it to catch fire

  • Fuquay Resident Feb 2, 2011

    Who said the library was on fire traceyevora?

  • delilahk2000 Feb 2, 2011

    WHAT A SHAME. I REALLY HOPE THEY REBUILD. THE PEOPLE THERE WERE SO NICE...

  • lildevil4eva18 Feb 2, 2011

    Yep they got water on the surrounding buildings to keep them protected

  • traceyevora Feb 2, 2011

    The Library in Warrenton is NOT on fire, just the Southern States Building. Henderson and South Hills, VA have arrived to help.

  • anonemoose Feb 2, 2011

    They just built a new library maybe 50 feet away, if that.
    luckily that wasn't the part of the building that would have burned the hottest.

  • lildevil4eva18 Feb 2, 2011

    Correction they have about 21 fire departments working on this fire