Initial reports claim that a fire that started around 8 p.m. Saturday evening, January 4, in the 100 block of Main Street in downtown Staunton that displaced multiple residents and damaged businesses was accidental. Unit 7 Fire Protection District that covers Gillespie and Benld were among the firefighters lending mutual aid to Staunton Fire Protection District.
The massive structure fire totally destroyed the building that was formerly a quilting shop but in the process of being converted into a dog grooming and boarding business, Clippin House. The upstairs of the building contained three apartment units and the tenants were evacuated before the fire department arrived although two pets, a dog and a cat, perished in the fire.
The fire was reported by a trio of Staunton Police Officers which were responding to an accident on Main Street. The officers noticed smoke coming out of the second floor of the building and cleared the residents out of the units.
In addition to one building being a total loss, damage plagues other businesses further west on the block including another part of Clippin House which had exterior, smoke, and water damage as well as water damage to The Dawg House Creamery that is currently closed for the season and the Masonic Lodge 177.
The blaze was under control by midnight but firefighters stayed on scene until early morning hours on Sunday due to structural instability and hot spots. An excavator had to be brought in to knock down the unstable walls.
In addition to Staunton Fire Protection District and Unit 7 Fire Protection District, mutual aid also came from Olive Distrct Fire Department, Mt. Olive Volunteer Fire Department, Litchfield Fire Department, and Edwardsville Fire Department.