RUSTBURG — A structure fire erupted in a building on Elmwood Lane in Rustburg on Monday afternoon, destroying much of the building and its contents.

The Evington Volunteer Fire Department received the call at about 2:20 p.m., according to Fire Chief William Hall Jr. When crews arrived, they found the “pole barn” heavily engulfed in fire. Both the heavy wind and Styrofoam stored inside the building fueled the flames.

“Right now it is under control, it’s just a lot of overhaul that we’re going to have to do,” Hall said.

There were no injuries or fatalities in the fire, but Hall called it “a complete loss.”

Still unsure how the fire started, it currently is under investigation by the Campbell County Fire Marshal’s Office.

The Evington, Lyn-Dan Heights, Altavista and Rustburg volunteer fire departments responded to the fire, along with Campbell County Public Safety.

According to online county property records, the roughly 8,400 square-foot building was built in 1975. A one story storage warehouse with a wood frame, the condition was cited as “poor” for its age.

By 4 p.m. the fire was reduced to smoldering rubble, with singed pallets of wood, and crumbling boxes of tile, brick and cast stone being dragged from the wreckage. A group of onlookers huddled by the chain link fence.

Among them was Crystal Fariss, the daughter of Robert Brown, owner of the property.

Fariss said she heard about the fire and came down immediately.

“It’s unreal,” Fariss said of the wreckage. “I’m 52, it’s been here since I can remember.”

According to Robert Brown, the building had been standing for about 45 years.

Fariss said at one time the building was a flea market. It had stalls where people would come to sell their wares.

Currently, it was being used as storage — partly by Concrete World, on Wards Road — and was rented out to an individual who did projects and “light manufacturing” out of the space.

The individual renting the building was on site, but declined to comment.

As far as next steps go, Fariss said it will not be rebuilt.

Greg Lindsey, a Campbell County resident said he could see the fire from Waterlick Road. Billowing black smoke plumed from the structure, and he said he rushed to the site when he realized it was located on Elmwood.

“It was shocking,” he said.

Sarah Honosky covers Appomattox and Campbell counties at The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5556.

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Sarah Honosky covers Appomattox and Campbell counties at The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5556. 

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