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Fire Threatened Feed Store

By Staff | Mar 11, 2009

New Martinsville firefighters responded to a vehicle fire at the corner of Locust Street and Linden Avenue in the early morning hours of March 2 and found a Ford Bronco fully involved and nearly completely consumed by the blaze. Not a devastating fire, but the fact that the Bronco was parked within one foot of the former Southern States feed store and positioned directly under the buildings overhang has firefighters perplexed as to why the historical feed store didn’t ignite.

“The only things that we can really say may have kept the large building from becoming involved in the blaze were the very strong north winds and the cold temperatures,” said Larry W. Couch, fire chief.

Firefighters knocked-down the vehicle fire and were quickly assigned to force entry to the feed store and check for fire extension. They made their way to the fourth level of the building and found no fire extension but encountered very dangerous structural conditions inside.

“This building is in very poor condition with numerous voids and open floors, probably one of the worst that I have been in as far as traps for fire fighters or anyone else who might enter the building would be concerned,” Couch said.

The blaze was called in by a crew on board a passing CSX Train just prior to 1 a.m.; crews remained on scene until shortly after 2 a.m.

Ten firefighters responded to the call along with New Martinsville Police Department and Jackson’s Towing.

The vehicle fire has been ruled as suspicious by the fire department and remains under investigation by the New Martinsville Police Department.