Newport News multi-purpose building was evacuated Thursday afternoon after a fire started in a trash chute, an official said. Firefighters responded to a report of an alarm activation reporting smoke inside the building in the 200 block of Nat Turner Blvd. shortly before 3 p.m., Battalion Chief Matthew Haraburda said at the scene. The building has a medical facility on the first floor with apartments above it, he said. There, they found that fire had started in the chute, but it was extinguished by the building’s sprinkler system, he said. Firefighters checked to make sure the fire had not spread and cleared smoke from the building, he said. No injuries were reported.
Haraburda said it was a good thing the building’s alarm system and sprinklers were working properly. It helped prevent the fire from spreading and ensure people inside got out safely. “When we got here, everybody had evacuated the building, which was good for us,” he said.