Augusta County Fire Chief talks about the Verona Fire

Says the building a “total loss.”
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 8:01 PM EDT
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VERONA, Va. (WHSV) - There are new updates about the fire that occurred Monday afternoon at Ball Advanced Aluminum Technologies.

Augusta County Fire and Rescue Chief Greg Schacht said when they arrived on the scene everyone was evacuated from the building, and said the fire started inside a machine. Witnesses said they noticed a fire started in one of the machines that spread rapidly, Schacht said.

“The building is going to be a total loss. We did have major collapse and probably three quarters of the building is collapsed in,” said Chief Schacht.

Fire departments from around Augusta County responded to the fire. Chief Schacht said Augusta County Fire and Rescue made the call to Rockingham County to provide a ladder truck and the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Crash Unit in case dry chemical would have been needed.

He said firefighters were unable to go inside the building because of the state of the building.

”Once we learned that everyone was out of the structure when we got there, and there was already some roof collapse when we arrived on location,” said Chief Schacht.

Chief Schacht said throughout the night there were multiple spot fires and crews were there until 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 19.

“We did receive a lot of community support as well as local businesses providing food and drinks for the first responders, so I want to thank everyone for stepping up and assisting with that,” said Chief Schacht.

He added that it is a shame to have such a large fire in a business in the community and that many people are affected by this.