"Upon arrival, volunteers were faced with heavy smoke and fire," the fire department said in a post on its Facebook page. "With help from Burkeville Fire, Blackstone Fire, Fort Pickett Fire, Victoria Fire, and Farmville Fire the blaze was able to be put out successfully and without injuries.
"Unfortunately the fire did do extensive damage to a lot of the production facility. We're really hoping that once we get in and assess the damage, we'll be able to say we can get things going again sooner rather than later," owner Bill Wilkerson Jr. told WRIC.
The family-owned business dates to 1947. Founder Buster Wilkerson had a small car dealership that expanded into car and truck retreading before including aircraft tire retreading. Buster Wilkerson's son, Bill Wilkerson Sr., who had a childhood interest in becoming a pilot, inspired elder Mr. Wilkerson to tackle aircraft tires.
Bill Wilkerson Sr. now is company president and a private pilot, according to the company's website.
Along with providing retreads under its Wilkerson Retreads brand, the company offers new Goodyear and Dunlop aircraft tires, the website said.