Nursing home evacuated as Richmond apartment building burns

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Fire investigators are working to determine what started a fire inside an abandoned apartment building in Richmond early Wednesday morning. The preliminary investigation indicated a squatter trespassing in the building was responsible.

Fire crews responded to the vacant building at 3204 Chamberlayne Avenue at around 3:49 a.m. A second-alarm was called to bring more fire crews to help battle the intense flames. It took about two hours for crews to bring the fire under control. No one was hurt, but part of the apartment building's roof caved in.

Chamberlayne Ave. apartment fire


Sixteen people were ordered to leave the nursing home next to the burning building as a precaution. It appears the evacuated nursing home was not damaged in the fire.

Chamberlayne Avenue between Westwood Avenue and Brookland Park Boulevard was closed while firefighters worked to put out the fire and stayed to make sure the fire did not flare back up. Fire crews expected the road to reopen at 7 a.m.

Richmond firefighters said this was the fourth abandoned building fire they have responded to in the last week. There was no indication yet that those fires were connected to each other.

This is a developing story.