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10 fire crews respond to Virginia Beach fire

Five businesses sustained smoke damage, but no injuries were reported.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A fire at a Virginia Beach business sent neighboring owners into a panic and to the rescue on Tuesday morning.

The fire damaged two businesses at Gibson Plaza, in the 3900 block of Holland Road. The Virginia Beach Fire Department tweeted that 10 units responded to the fire. 

The smoke from the flames traveled to six other nearby businesses, forcing shops to close their doors.

“[I] went next door to make sure [everyone got out] and one door down to make sure he got out,” said Roger Stein, who owns Famous Uncle Al’s Restaurant in the plaza. 

Stein said he helped some of the neighboring business owners get out of the building after smelling and seeing smoke coming out of one of the buildings.

“We had no idea and he got us out. Knocked on every door running and I just appreciate that,” said Quesella Mustafa.

Virginia Beach Fire Battalion Chief Michael Carter said firefighters got to the scene around 8:40 Tuesday morning. Carter said the fire started in building 113, which is vacant.

Carter said the firefighters’ quick response saved the rest of the buildings in the plaza.

“There was not a lot of access to the rear side of the structure ventilating which becomes a more difficult way to go," said Carter. "So, we did have to cut some holes in the roof of the primary fire building, which then helped expose the rest of that smoke and heat and it prevented some damage, smoke damage as well as some fire damage continuing down that path."

Stein and other business owners did not open for the rest of the day.  

“It’s not a good feeling,” said Stein, who explained he will not reopen until the smell of smoke gets out of his business.

Crews with the Virginia Beach Fire Marshal’s Office are trying to determine the cause of the fire. 

Virginia Beach fire officials said they responded to the fire about four minutes after the first 911 call came in. No one was hurt.

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