5-alarm fire burns apartment complex near JMU in Harrisonburg

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Fire officials said everyone was safely evacuated after a five-alarm fire raged at an apartment complex near James Madison University in Harrisonburg Thursday afternoon.

The fire broke out at the Southview Apartments in the 1000 block of Lois Lane, according to the university's student newspaper, The Breeze. 

Harrisonburg Fire officials said ‏"all occupants were safely evacuated" just after 1:20 p.m. and that the fire was contained around 1:45 p.m.

Crews were called to the five-alarm fire just after 12:05 p.m., according to WHSV. 

In addition to Harrisonburg and Rockingham County crews, firefighters were being dispatched from as far away as Augusta County, the station reported.

James Madison University sent an alert, since many students live at the apartments, urging folks to avoid the area.

Fire officials said Peachgrove Road from Neff Avenue is shutdown and drivers were urged to avoid Lois Lane.

Additionally, the department asked residents at 1073, 1083 and 1093 Lois Lane to "contact property management."

University officials said parents can call 540-214-3453 to see if their student has checked in with the school.

There has been no word yet how many students were displaced by the fire.

Smoke from the fire could be seen in downtown Harrisonburg and from WHSV's skycam on Massanutten mountain.

There has been no word on what sparked the fire.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can submit a news tip here. If you see breaking news, and can do so safely, shoot a photo or video and send it to CBS 6. You can also upload photos to our Facebook page or email pics@wtvr.com from your phone.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.