UPDATE 1/24: The fire has been ruled accidental, according to Virginia Beach Fire Battalion Chief Amy Valdez. The exact cause is still under investigation.
VIRGINIA BEACH- Several dogs were rescued from a Virginia Beach dog care facility after a fire broke out at a nearby sports bar Thursday night.
Firefighters received the call of a fire at The Reef Lounge in the 2900 block of Shore Drive just after 8 p.m. Thursday. Heavy smoke was seen coming from the business when crews arrived on scene, according to Virginia Beach Fire Battalion Chief Jack Crandle.
Nobody was inside the bar at the time.
Dogs from Fur'st Choice Doggy Day Care were quickly evacuated after smoke began extending into the facility, fire officials said. The dogs were then relocated to a veterinary clinic in the area.
"With the smoke and all the flames the dogs are nervous so we just wanted to be as safe as we could since they are borders at doggy day care and do all that we can to bring them over to where they are very safe with us." said Lori Wrenn.
Several other businesses in the strip mall were also affected.
Nobody was injured during the incident. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
People were talking about the fire on the WVEC.com Facebook page.
Frank Gallagher wrote, "Very special place. Great people. Great times in that bar. met the love of my life there. We're still together. The Reef lounge."
Jessie Comba added, "The Reef Lounge is one of my favorite places to go out. I just drove past 10 minutes ago on my way home and saw tons and tons of smoke. I hope everyone and the place are ok. So sad!"
Joanne Morgante DeAngelis has fond memories of her time at the Reef. "Took my Mother there when she visited me; my Brother and my Niece sang Karaoke there; so many friends. I hope everyone who who work there and patronizes there is okay and the people too."