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Fire crews battle blaze at Downtown Marion business

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Past Time fire

This story has been updated with new information.

Fire crews were still on scene mid-morning on Tuesday after a Downtown Marion business caught fire in the early morning hours.

Crews got the call just before 2 a.m. to respond to the fire at the Past Time Antique Emporium.

Fire Chief Richard Keesling said town crews had been working to repair leaks to a water main at the intersection of Commerce and Main streets when they noticed the smoke and flames coming out of the second story.

"If they hadn’t been working that night, it could have gone unnoticed for some time and the outcome could have been much worse," Keesling said.

The fire chief said the building appeared to be a total loss, but said that official determination would need to come from the insurance company.

Seven fire departments with more than 60 firefighters battled the blaze, including the Atkins, Sugar Grove, Adwolfe, Chilhowie, Saltville, and Rural Retreat fire departments.

"Thanks to the quick work of the crews, the fire did not spread to other buildings in the downtown, but an adjacent restaurant suffered water and smoke damage," said town spokesperson Ken Heath in a social media post.

Keesling estimated the restaurant, the Yummy Yummy, suffered only minimal smoke and water damage if at all.

"Marin Fire-EMS would like to thank all the departments that responded to help us out," Keesling said. "It was greatly appreciated and that's what helped make the outcome as good as it could be."

According to a post on Past Time's Facebook page, no one was inside the building when it caught fire. 

The fire came less than a month after a blaze devastated  the Blue Iguana Reptile Supply on Sept. 15. Several reptiles were lost in that fire.

Lt. Rusty Hamm, with the Marion Police Department and Marion Fire-EMS, said the two fires are not believed to be connected and that neither fire is believed to be suspicious in nature. 

The cause and origin of Tuesday's fire has not yet been determined. The Virginia State Police has been asked to assist in the investigation.

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