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Fire Blazes Through Charlottesville City Market Offices - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fire Blazes Through Charlottesville City Market Offices

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Charlottesville City Market offices on Water St. Charlottesville City Market offices on Water St.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) - What used to be the home of Charlottesville's City Market offices is now nothing more than charred bricks and broken glass.

Firefighters got the call for the blaze around 6:30 Sunday morning when a cab driver noticed smoke coming from the building.

“Upon arrival units discovered that they did have a fire inside the building,” says Battalion Chief Richard Jones of the Charlottesville Fire Department. “Additional resources were dispatched and they went into suppression operations.”

Peter Demartino saw the blaze from his apartment's roof top.

“There were guys up on the roof and it looked like they had broken out all the windows,” Demartino says. “Then they finally broke through the roof and brought the hoses in on the ladders.”

As the day went on, smoke continued to roll through the building.

A few hours into the blaze, the fire department had to go on defense mode. This means no firefighters can enter the building because the structure is unstable.

Because the structure wasn't safe for fire crews to go inside, they hosed water through the roof.

A bulldozer ripped apart the building so crews could access flames still burning deep inside.

City of Charlottesville spokeswoman Miriam Dickler says the Parks and Recreation Department is notifying City Market vendors about the fire.

“We'll find room for the folks that worked in this building somewhere on city property that's to be determined,” she says.

Crews were able to salvage a few items from inside the building, but the damage is estimated at $750,000. Charlottesville fire marshals say they may never know the cause of the fire.

The final 2013 holiday market will proceed as scheduled.

The eight people who worked out of the office building are relocated in a facilities management space.

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