A call at 12:34 a.m. on March 5 alerted the Paden City Police Department to a breaking and entering at Quality Aluminum on 216 North Fourth Avenue, where the officers on duty mollified a case of arson.
"From what I understand someone who was driving by saw that glass was broken on the front door and called 911," explained Paden City Police Chief Mike Kelly.
Patrolman Mike Neff was the first to arrive at the scene. Upon seeing that glass was broken on the front and side doors, he called for backup.
The March 5 fire at Quality Aluminum has been deemed an arson.
"What I was impressed with is that he went there for a breaking and entering, and when he got there he discovered that there was in fact a breaking and entering and called for backup," said Chief Kelly.
Patrolman Bryan Owens of the Sistersville Police Department, who was filling in part-time for Paden City that night, soon joined Neff. The two entered the building and, after seeing smoke, discovered that files stacked on a countertop had been set on fire. The officers then used water from a nearby faucet to extinguish the blaze.
"They probably saved the building," said Chief Kelly, who also commented on the close proximity of houses to the business. He went on to personally thank the officers for going above and beyond their duty.
"I'd just like to commend them on the job they did to save that business," he said. "I was really impressed."
Shortly after Neff and Owens put out the fire, the Paden City Fire Department and Sistersville Police Sergeant Alex Northcraft arrived to offer additional assistance.
Although no money was taken from Quality Aluminum in the March 5 incident, a Feb. 28 burglary and theft of the business resulted in stolen funds. A few days after the arson at Quality Aluminum, a failed breaking and entering occurred at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Paden City. According to Chief Kelly, it looks as if the same "tool" was used for the break-ins as the attempted break-in.
"We have some leads that we're working on," he said, regarding the series of crimes. "We would just really like peoples' help on this, because it is getting scary."
Right: Paden City patrolmen arrived at Quality Aluminum for a breaking and entering report and discovered files on fire. (Photo courtesy of PCPD)