Photos by Lonnie Hinton, The Vienna Times ©
Seven fire departments responded to the Vienna Square this morning to a fire in a two-story building on the southwest corner of the courthouse square. The first report of the fire was around 9:50 a.m.
The building is owned by Boo Smith and had three apartments inside. Two apartments on the lower level were occupied. The upstairs unit was recently vacated.
One resident was at home at the time but was able to escape uninjured.
The tenants of the apartments are not known at this time.
The structure was a total loss.
The unstable exterior walls that eventually fell to the ground prevented firemen from getting too close to the building.
Several buildings near the structure were evacuated.
Fire departments from Vienna, Goreville, Buncombe, New Burnside, Carrier Mills and Lake of Egypt responded. Lake of Egypt’s department provided their ladder truck.
As many as six tanker trucks lined East Main Street dumping water into a portable pumping reservoir stationed on the east entrance of the square near Family Pizza and The Vienna Times.
Firefighters are still on the scene this evening, and expected to remain throughout the night cooling hot spots.
Approximately 150 thousand gallons of water has so far been used to battle the blaze according to the Vienna Water Department.
The building, built in the early 1900’s has been home to several businesses during its years.
Longtime Vienna resident Rosemary Orr recalls the post office being in the building when she was a child in the early 30s.
Sheriff Elry Faulkner said it once served as a pool hall when he was young.
The building has recently been used as office space for many businesses over the years prior to it being converted to apartments.
The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time.
The city block surrounding the structure is closed at this time.
A demolition company has been called to cleanup the fallen debris. Cleanup is planned to begin Wednesday morning for safety reasons.
Additional information will be published in The Vienna Times as they become available.