Fire in downtown Richmond damages office of Democratic political consultant

kward1@herald-leader.comJuly 8, 2014 

Photo provided

A fire in downtown Richmond on Tuesday damaged two buildings, including the offices of well-known Democratic political consultant Dale Emmons.

Richmond fire officials said they rescued two people from an apartment on the second floor of one of the buildings, which are on Main Street. Those people were not thought to be injured. The buildings had smoke and water damage.

The fire broke out about 3 p.m. on the back of the buildings, along Water Street, and spread from the deck of one building to that of an adjacent building, according to the Richmond Fire Department.

The building where the fire started houses a Mexican restaurant on the ground floor and apartments above. The other building houses two law offices and Emmons' office.

Emmons, who co-owns that building, said it dates to about 1860 and is actually two buildings that he renovated, blending the spaces inside.

"It's pretty smoke-laden," Emmons said of his office space.

He said the roof was compromised, and the deck and rooftop garden were destroyed. Additionally, he lost some heirlooms from his grandfather's business as a country merchant.

"We've got a big mess on our hands," he said, but he added that he's thankful the firefighters were able to contain the blaze. "It's amazing to me that they were able to do what they did."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Herald-Leader's television reporting partner, WKYT, reported that the fire is not thought to be suspicious.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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