Photos by Chief Jim Hoffler
At 03:56 p.m. on July 5, personnel from the Portsmouth (VA) Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services responded to the report of a “commercial structure fire” at Marine Environmental Services in the 4000 block of Seaguard Ave within the city of Portsmouth.
While en route to the call, the crews reported that a large column of smoke could be seen from a distance. Upon arrival, fire and rescue units reported a large commercial warehouse with heavy fire through the roof. Crews made an aggressive defensive attack and were able to stop the spread of fire to neighboring buildings and homes. One residential home was evacuated due to possible exposure to the fire.
A second alarm was called and close to 60 firefighters responded to the the scene from Portsmouth Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services and Chesapeake Fire Department. The Portsmouth Hazmat Team responded to assist with a report of gasoline and oil within the building, and the Chesapeake Fire Department Foam Team responded to assist with the extinguishment of “hot spots.” Portsmouth also received assistance from Suffolk Fire and Rescue and Norfolk Fire Rescue with coverage for the remainder of the city.
All business occupants were able to evacuate the building safely. There were no reports of injuries. One firefighter was transported to the hospital in stable condition. The fire was declared under control at 8:00 p.m.
A specific determination of the origin and cause has not yet been determined. The fire remains under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office. Questions can be directed to the on-call Public Information Officer for Portsmouth Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services at (757) 392-4884.
Thanks to Sean Doney for forwarding these shots.