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Blaze at Nelson County lumberyard under investigation

A fire at an Arrington lumberyard early Sunday morning took nearly 100,000 gallons of water to contain, according to fire officials.

The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The Lovingston Volunteer Fire Department said it was dispatched to the scene after someone called 911 and reported they could see smoke coming from the lumberyard, said Jade Bunner, membership president of the department.

The first Lovingston firefighter arrived on the scene in a personal vehicle and spotted the blaze, Bunner said. Additional firefighters from Lovingston arrived in about eight to 12 minutes, she said.

Lovingston firefighters were assisted by neighboring career and volunteer crews, including those from the Pedlar, Concord, Buckingham and North Garden fire stations as well as Amherst, Albemarle, Campbell, Buckingham and Appomattox counties.

“As a volunteer firefighter in a rural area, it was really appreciated to have the level of mutual aid response that we did from agencies in neighboring counties. The fire could not have been handled nearly as effectively without their amazing help and support," Justin Berry, Lovingston Fire Department membership vice president, said.

Community members also arrived on the scene, bringing food and drinking water for firefighters.

"My husband answered the call. He left as soon as the smoke investigation call went out around 5:30 am. He texted me saying he was on the truck heading to the fire. I didn’t hear from him again for about four hours," Bunner said. "When he got home yesterday around 4:30 p.m., he told me as the engine approached the scene, the entire cab of the engine changed temperature. He was very grateful to the volunteers/community members who brought by cases of water/Gatorade and food."

“We were very grateful for all the responses and resources that came from many out of county responders. Everyone worked together great as a team. With everyone’s hard work and quick responses we were able to contain the majority of the damage to one building. I am very proud of my firefighting brothers and sisters, everyone got the job done and we all went home safe," firefighter Jeremy Hestor said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. More details are expected to be released once the damage can be assessed.


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