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Fire damages restaurant equipment business in Bristol, Va.

Fire damages restaurant equipment business in Bristol, Va.


BRISTOL, Va. — Fifteen firefighters battled a blaze early Sunday at a restaurant equipment business in Bristol, Virginia.

Firefighters arrived at the scene on Commonwealth Avenue at 2:30 a.m. after six citizens called to report the blaze at Herb’s Restaurant Supply & Equipment, said Stacey Farley, battalion chief of Bristol Virginia’s Station No. 1, who called the fire “difficult.”

“We had to attack this fire from three different directions. This fire was high into a ceiling. The business had been repurposed several times,” Farley said. “It had a couple of ceilings, a couple of roofs.”

The multiple levels sparked potential danger for the responders, said Bristol Virginia Fire Chief Mike Armstrong.

“It was obviously a large-scale fire for us. We already had fire visible from the roof,” he said.

Herb Clark, 63, opened the business five years ago to sell restaurant equipment such as plates, trays, ovens and refrigerators.

“We sell everything that goes in a restaurant,” Clark said. “We just don’t sell food stuff.”

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Armstrong already knew of the business when he arrived in the wee hours of the morning.

“I love that store. See, I’m a cook at heart,” Armstrong said. “I appreciate everything they have in there.”

Firefighters extinguished the blaze around 3:15 a.m., Farley said.

The building suffered water and smoke damage, but Clark said he hopes to be back to business as usual within two or three months.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, Farley said.

“I have no idea how the fire started,” Clark said.

Insurance inspectors are now looking at the property, he added. @BHC_Tennis | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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