NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - A rooftop fire at a Norfolk medical complex caused more than $1 million damage, according to fire officials.
Fire crews were called to the Fort Norfolk Medical Plaza at 301 Riverview Ave. just after 6:30 p.m. Monday.
"We could see the smoke suddenly, within minutes it was much worse," said Mariana Coxe, a professor at Old Dominion University.
Coxe was one of the handful of people inside the medical building at the time of the fire.
"You could see the smoke outside the window, and then the alarms went off," Coxe added.
Felicia Richardson was on the ninth floor when the smoke started to seep into the hallway.
"I was cleaning, and the alarm went off," Richardson said. "I just ran for my life. I was scared."
Richardson came down the stairs, as did Paul Williams.
"It was just black all down in the stairwell," Williams recalled. "Jet black. You couldn't hardly see nothing and we kept hearing loud popping."
Battalion Chief Harry Worley said the fire was located on the roof and appeared to involve roofing material. Investigators are still working to determine a cause. Officials added the fire damage is mostly contained to that area, although there was significant water damage to several floors of the building, Worley said Tuesday.
"Thank the Lord," Richardson said. "I'm glad I'm alive."
At its height, the fire was deemed a three alarm fire.
The fire was under control just before 8 p.m.
There were no reported injuries.
The $70 million building is a fairly recent addition to the Fort Norfolk section of the city. Dr. Keith Newby, a Norfolk cardiologist, owns the Fort Norfolk Medical Plaza , which was constructed last year.
Tom Holden, with Hampton Roads Transit , said light rail was briefly affected by the fire. Service was interrupted at the Fort Norfolk station just after the fire was called in to 911. A bus bridge was established between the station and the York Road station until 7:30 p.m.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
Hampton Fire units arrived at the scene of a residential fire in the 3800 block of Shell Road just after 6 p.m.
One person was able to get out of a Newport News house safely after police say a man fired a gun.