ROANOKE (WSLS 10) – Roanoke City firefighters battle a massive blaze at the former Roanoke City Public Schools maintenance building, now owned by Carilion.
Roanoke City Fire Chief David Hoback says this is the largest fire the department has seen all year.
It happened in the 200-block of Reserve avenue near Franklin Road. The building is a total loss.
Multiple fire crews are on scene. Hoback says five engine trucks, three ladder trucks and two ambulances were called to the fire.
The building was recently purchased by Carilion to become part of the health sciences and technology district.
At this point there is no word on what caused the fire. Carilion spokesperson Chris Turnbull says Carilion had no belongings in the building and power had not yet been turned on to the facility.
Hoback says the fire is expected to last for several hours. Turnbull says firefighters at this point will work to control the fire until it is completely burned. That process could last through Sunday afternoon.
Roanoke Fire and EMS crews have begun demolishing the building to help stop the fire.
Parts of Franklin Road, Reserve Avenue and Wiley Drive are closed to traffic.
No injuries have been reported.