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Former Furniture Factory Destroyed in Virginia Blaze

One-fourth of plant saved.


A MULTI-ALARM FIRE IN BASSETT, Virginia, destroyed most of the former Bassett Furniture Plant No. 2 on Monday.  The building was lately being used by a regional non-profit to store items that are included in charity packages.

The fire was discovered and reported at 1:50 am when a sheriff's patrol spotted flames coming through the roof of the  one- and three-story building.

The Martinsville Bulletin reports:

Henry County Fire Marshal Rodney Howell said the building likely would continue to burn for several days, and officials will not try to enter until after the blaze is extinguished.

“It had a big start on everybody, and at that point, it was pretty much a defensive operation. You don’t really try to put fire out” but instead try to contain it and keep it from spreading, he said.  “Once that fire got going today, there was not going to be any stopping it,” he added.

Howell said he would not consider the entire building, which he estimated was about 600 feet wide by 600 feet long, a total loss. About one-fourth of the building was saved thanks to the efforts of firefighters and a fire wall built inside, he said.  “The fire wall stopped it,” and that portion of the building “only has a little bit of damage to the roof but not much,” he said.

The AP posted this raw video of the fire taken by WDBJ-TV:


Read the full story in the Martinsville Bulletin HERE.


About 130 firefighters from more than a dozen FD's battled the blaze for 16 hours until it was mostly extinguished. The remnants of the fire are expected to continue smoldering for two or more days before investigators can get inside.  The building did have electricity and held a fairly large store of personal-type goods that are typically handed out to the needy such as shaving cream, toilet paper and aerosol cans.

The building was built in the mid-1920s and was once used to manufacturer case goods and other wood furniture. Bassett stopped production there in 2001.  It is no longer owned by Bassett but now the property of a real estate firm in North Carolina.

WSET-TV also filed this video report from the scene:


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