A major fire is burning in downtown Tappahannock on Prince Street, and it is spreading.
As a result, the Downing Bridge over the Rappahannock River is closed, meaning vehicles cannot cross from Richmond County to Tappahannock or vice versa.
VDOT said no reopening time is available for that area of Route 360 at this time. Motorists who need real-time traffic updates can get them using 511Virginia.org.
The fire is believed to have started around 11 a.m. at the Martin-Sale furniture building on Prince Street, according to a report on WRAR 105.5. That building is now completely destroyed, said a reporter who is live at the scene.
As of 12:30, the fire had spread to buildings on both sides of Martin Sale as well as to two houses, the radio report stated.
Prince Street and other side streets are currently closed. Businesses in the area, such as Prince Street Café and the Essex County Museum and Historical Society, have posted notices on Facebook that they are closed for the day.
The Town of Tappahannock issued a statement forewarning residents that they may experience a loss of water and there will not be any trash pickup service today.
Essex County Sheriff Arnie Holmes is asking anyone who may consider going to Tappahannock to stay away from downtown for the time being. The Tappahannock Main Street Organization has also asked people to “Please stay off the roads downtown if at all possible. We need the roads clear for emergency professionals to reach and assist with the fire as quickly as possible,” the organization said.
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