Grottoes Fire Burns into the Night

A pile of wood mulch and sawdust caught fire in Grottoes at a local pallet company Thursday night.

Courtesy: Dana Glass

There was a towering fire in the Valley Thursday night that thousands of drivers could see from Interstate 81.

A pile of wood mulch and sawdust caught fire in Grottoes at a local pallet company.

The yard behind the building was barely visible behind the billowing smoke.

The fire started around 5 p.m. and burned well into the night.

The crews had the fire somewhat under control by early evening, but still had a long way to go before it was safely put out.

"The height is approximately three-stories tall, so it's hard to get in to fight the fire because you don't want the stack to fall and collapse on anyone," says Lt. Chris Ritenhour of the Rockingham County Fire Department. "We're also battling the heat and the lack of water in this area. We may be here as long as a day."

The crews fighting the fire were rotating out about every 15 minutes to cool off and rehydrate.


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