Property manager: Human caused fire that damaged 64 storage units

(Salem Fire & EMS Department)

UPDATE 12:15 p.m.

The owner of the storage units said he's positive a human caused the fire at the storage units, and not the building itself.

Apperson Self-Storage's property manager said a few weeks ago one of the tenants did something with the wiring in one of the units and someone in management went back and corrected the problem.

A tenant from the same unit had also been gaining unauthorized entry into the unit, meaning he wasn't paying rent, so the property manager said they locked him out.

The property manager said that same person was seen on surveillance video breaking into the unit between 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Monday night and the fire started shortly after 9 p.m.

The fire started near the unit that was broken into.

The property manager said they also caught that person smoking in his unit on video.

He also said they noticed that from the last time the lights were fixed, they've been modified; he said the light bulb can be unscrewed and something else can be put in its place.

The owner of said he's hoping people will be able to get back in to their storage units sometime Wednesday.


SALEM, Va. (WSET) - The Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a fire that destroyed part of Apperson Self Storage in Salem Monday night.

Officials say units with the Salem Fire & EMS Department responded to the location on Apperson Drive just after 10:15 p.m.

According to officials, the blaze destroyed one of the storage buildings, affecting 64 storage units.

They say approximately 50 firefighters and EMS personnel worked throughout the night and morning before getting the blaze under control.

They say 60 of the 64 units were heavily damaged, and contents of those units included several cars and motorcycles.

Fire officials say the fire did not cause any injures, but a firefighter was taken to the hospital for an unrelated medical issue.

They say that firefighter was treated and released Tuesday morning.

The Salem Fire Marshal's Office says the investigation is ongoing, and there is no cause or damage estimate at this time.

This is a developing story, stay with ABC 13 for updates.

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