One day after finalizing its annual lease on a property in Chamberlayne Parkway, Richmond Public School’s maintenance garage was destroyed in a massive fire, reported ABC 8 News.
According to the Richmond Fire Department (RFD), the blaze broke out Wednesday morning. Authorities received calls at approximately 6:27 a.m. local time reporting a structure fire and heavy smoke.
The fire department arrived three minutes later at the scene. There was reportedly an individual in the building at the time who was able to exit on their own.
RFD Public Information Manager Amy Vu said via the article a working fire was declared. A second alarm was sounded due to the size of the fire.
Vu said the fire was marked under control at approximately 7:37 a.m. about an hour after it was reported.
An investigation is being conducted to determine how and where the fire started. According to Cory Webb, a witness who was working nearby and called 911, three explosions were heard. He also stated that both fire and smoke were coming out of the building.
RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras confirmed that both oxygen and diesel tanks along with acetylene were inside the garage when the fire occurred.
Kamras said the school division has leased the property on Chamberlayne Parkway for approximately 20 years and its annual lease was just finalized on Tuesday, just hours before the fire broke out.
The loss of buses, tools and other equipment is insured by the district’s insurance company. However, the property will be taken care of by its owner. Meanwhile, the district will find another garage to do their repairs as quickly as possible.
Related: Florida School Bus Caught on Fire, No Injuries
Related: GreenPower to Take Possession of West Virginia Manufacturing Facility in August 2022
Related: Update: Cause of New Hampshire School Bus Terminal Fire Under Investigation
Related: New York School Bus Driver Saves People from Burning Home