VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Firefighters responded to a commercial structure fire at a two-story office building early Wednesday.
“Gut-wrenching. Devastating,” said Custom Home Improvements co-owner Tim Zweizig.
Virginia Beach Fire officials say they were notified around 3 a.m. for the fire in the 2000 block of General Booth Boulevard, in the Red Mill section of the city.
Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke and fire coming from the second story of the building.
“When I pulled up and saw the building, my knees just pretty much fell out from underneath me in shock that everything we’ve worked so hard for over the last 20 years is gone,” said John Ledgerwood, Custom Home Improvements co-owner. “This just sets us back and it’s just, it’s a devastating hit to have a pandemic and then lose everything you own with a business all within six months. It hurts.”
There were four businesses in the office building and all were heavily damaged: Beach Chiropractic, Custom Home Improvements, Inner Sanctum Massages and the Law Offices of Carl Khalil & Sada Sheldon.
“Just seeing the destruction, you know, just broke me down, you know, it broke us all down. All of the business owners were there and, you know, it’s just hard,” said Lyndera El, co-owner of Inner Sanctum Massage, which gives free massages to disabled veterans.
“A lot of people took a hit this morning,” said Dana Achenbach, Custom Home Improvements co-owner. “Fighting through with everything. It’s not just about us. It’s the building has its own community.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Zweizig said, “We have to stand by what we do and so we have no other choice than to be resilient and to bounce back even better and stronger.”
Inner Sanctum Massage has a GoFundMe page set up, which you can find here.
Virginia Beach fire crews were still on the scene of a large apartment fire on Maize Drive when they got the call to respond to this fire.
Stay tuned to WAVY.com for the latest developments.
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