Morning Fire In Court Square Tavern

By: Elizabeth Donatelli
By: Elizabeth Donatelli
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March 15, 2006

Firefighters have contained an apparent apartment fire in the 500 block of East Jefferson Street in Court Square in Charlottesville.

Residents are back in their apartments at 500 Court Square Wednesday after an early morning fire--but not all businesses are as lucky.

Residents were evacuated from the old Monticello Hotel onto a bus to stay warm after a fire started below at Court Square Tavern restaurant just after 5 a.m.

"The fire was fairly small. It was confined to the bar area of the restaurant. They did have some smoke that extended up to the hotel building above," said Dep. Chief Britt Grimm of the Charlottesville Fire Department.

Police pulled the fire alarm and firefighters knocked on doors to evacuate the building. There are no injuries to report.

"Right now I think the smoke probably in the upper portion of the building was fairly light. It certainly would have been noticeable and we wouldn't have wanted anybody to stay in that kind of condition, but the fire itself looks like it was fairly small, so we're thinking smoke conditions in the upper part of the building were pretty light," said Grimm.

Crews from Charlottesville and Albemarle were on the scene.

"The damage doesn't look too extensive," said Grimm. "Some fairly heavy smoke damage in the restaurant itself. Of course we've got a couple of windows that are out through there."

The cause of the fire is unknown, but it is still an ongoing investigation.

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