Watch Now: Blaze Damages Four Danville Mall Stores | Local News

A fire on Friday evening that sent thick black smoke into Danville’s southern skyline damaged four stores in the Ballou Park shopping center.

Yellow fire scene tape and red hazard tape on four Saturday morning businesses damaged in a Friday night fire at the Ballou Park shopping center in Danville.

Charles Wilborn, register and bee

Crews from the Danville Fire Department responded around 5:30 p.m. to the reported fire at Roses Express in the mall located at 653 W. Main St.

When firefighters arrived they found light smoke coming from the front door, but this quickly turned into a heavier, darker cloud as flames engulfed the interior of the business, reported Battalion Chief FD Fowler in a press release.

In general, a rapid expansion of fire – and the combustion of different materials – causes the smoke to change color.

“There was a lot of plastic and stuff in there,” Battalion Commander Tommy Napier told the Register & Bee in a Saturday morning phone interview.


The Danville Fire Department is fighting a fire Friday night at Roses Express in the Ballou Park shopping center.

Charles Wilborn, register and bee

Roses suffered the most severe damage from the fire, but three other businesses – Dollar General, ColorTyme and Charms – also suffered smoke, heat and water damage.

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Apart from the fire scene and the danger strip placed in front of the businesses, little damage was observed from the outside on Saturday morning.


Danville Fire Department crews take a quick walk Saturday morning after a Friday night fire damaged four businesses in Danville’s Ballou Park shopping center.

Charles Wilborn, register and bee

However, Napier explained that a view from above – possibly from a drone – would show a very different picture of the destruction.

“It did quite a bit of damage,” he explained, noting that flames were burning through the roof.

As workers placed wooden planks on the windows on Saturday morning, a single fire engine stopped at the scene shortly before 9 a.m. Three firefighters appeared to take a brisk walk before leaving.


The Dollar General store is closed on Saturday morning after being damaged by a fire at Roses Express next door on Friday evening.

Charles Wilborn, register and bee

Other stores – the mall is also home to Food Lion – resumed normal operations on Saturday after the fire was forced to close on Friday evening.

The fire drew many onlookers around 6 p.m. Friday, many with cellphones capturing the event in progress. As a ladder truck in front of the business sprayed water on the flames from above, thick smoke poured from a rear side bay of one of the businesses.

Danville Police Department vehicles were positioned at entrances to the center, not allowing vehicles to enter as firefighters battled the flames Friday night.

This fire and the resulting damage are “pretty close” to another fire that hit the opposite end of the mall around 2008, Napier said.

This nighttime fire sent flames into the sky and destroyed at least one business.


Danville firefighters return to an engine on Saturday morning after doing a quick tour of a fire scene in the Parc Ballou shopping center.

Charles Wilborn, register and bee

Members of the Danville Fire Marshal’s Office — along with a Virginia State Police investigator — were at the scene Friday. Danville investigators will likely return early next week to begin an investigation into the origin of the fire, Napier said.

Fire crews were there for 5 1/2 hours on Friday. In all, five engines, two ladder trucks, a security officer and a battalion chief worked on the fire, Fowler’s press release said. In addition to the police, the Danville Rescue Team and Danville Utilities also stepped in to help.

No injuries were reported.