Crews battle structure fire in Waterbury Center

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WATERBURY, Vt. (WCAX) Fire officials are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed an abandoned building in Waterbury Center.

Crews responded to the fire around 2 a.m. Friday to the building known as the Auction House at 3579 Waterbury-Stowe Road. Route 100 in Waterbury Center was shut down for several hours.

Chief Gary Dillon tells the AP the building was fully engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

Steven Drill lives next door and woke up to the chaos. "There was actually someone who like banged on our window 1:32 and said there was a fire and that's what woke us up, got the dogs," Drill said. "The flames were really close, so literally the window where we sleep is on the top floor, so our bed sits right on the window sill. Where our head sits right by that window, you can reach out and touch the roof," Drill said.

He says he and his girlfriend grabbed a couple of things, got their dogs and left. He says most people living near the scene got out safely on their own, although firefighters still banged on doors. "They did evacuate across the driveway. They did wake that family up and pull them out," he said.

Now he's worried about smoke damage, but thankful it wasn't worse, calling it the best case scenario in a bad situation. "It's scary, but I just want to thank everyone who came out quickly in the middle of the night. They did a great job just assessing the situation and saving what was important," Drill said.

Fire investigators are on scene to determine the cause of the blaze.