Fischer, who is the owner says the building is a total loss after Thursday’s fire, and needs to be torn down.
He says, “I was pretty devastated when I first came out. For a while I thought our building was going to be saved, and then later on the fire department told me that no, it’s spreading and it doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to save your building.”
He says of the damage inside, “A lot of water damage in there, a lot of smoke damage, but amazingly there’s a lot of books and papers that were still dry.”
The building has been a law firm for the Fischer family since the 1800’s. Fischer adds, “I’m heartbroken, absolutely heartbroken. This has been in my family all my life. I grew up as a kid here. When my dad was an attorney here I used to come down here and play as a little boy.”
Firefighters continued searching for hot spots that keep flaring up where Michael and Dowd and Clingman Pharmacy were. They are also trying to keep the smoke under control. Vinton’s mayor Bud Maynard says losing the businesses will affect their economy.