Fire seriously damages Family Dollar in Norfolk shopping center

NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk Fire and Rescue responded to a second alarm commercial fire.

Heavy smoke could be seen from our Norfolk Tower cameras, as seen in the Facebook Live below.

Church Street neighbors are saddened to see their local Family Dollar store go up in smoke. But employees tell our News 3 reporter Kelsey Jones that if they hadn’t acted quickly, the situation could have been much worse.

“It was like an explosion like a bomb,” said a customer who was inside Family Dollar.

The customer said: “It was a big explosion inside the building. That’s when I started going behind the door of the employees, and when I come out of the store, the windows have exploded and a pile of black smoke came everywhere.”

It’s all happening at the mall on the 700 block of Church Street on Monday afternoon. Crews were dispatched at 5:25 p.m. and a second alarm was raised at 5:33 p.m.

“You have so much in there that it’s easy to get on fire,” the client said.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue has not released details of what started the blaze. Our reporter Kelsey Jones caught up with the deputy director of Family Dollar. He would not comment on how the fire started, but said within seconds that he called 9-1-1.

“I started screaming fire and made sure all staff and customers got out of the building. I tried with a fire extinguisher to put it out, but it was out of control,” Jay said, Deputy Director of Family Dollar.

Kelsey Jones asked residents, “Is this a big loss for the community?”

“Yes it is! Because basically it’s the only store where they can come and shop for milk, cereal, stuff like that,” said a concerned resident.

News 3 crews are working to find out more.

Officials say no injuries were reported.

Stay with us for updates.