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Fire Destroys Steelton Home

By Staff | Apr 1, 2009

Firefighters work to quell the raging blaze that engulfed a home in the Steelton section of New Martinsville Sunday. The structure and contents were deemed a total loss, estimated at $105,000. (Photo by Logan Smith)

A fire destroyed a home in the Steelton section of New Martinsville Sunday afternoon.

New Martinsville Fire Chief Larry Couch said his department’s firefighters responded to the fire at 58 Helen Street at 4:20 p.m. Sunday afternoon after neighbors began calling 911 reporting smoke and fire coming from the structure.

“The sole occupant, Nora J. Hood, escaped injury in the blaze, which appeared to have begun in the middle of the home near the furnace room,” said Couch. “Neighbors reported seeing the fire coming from behind the woman as she was exiting the home.”

Firefighters, who began arriving four minutes after the initial call, encountered a fully involved structural fire and were faced with high winds and downed, live power lines which slowed their advance on the fire.

“We deployed numerous hand-lines to engage the advancing fire and to keep it away from neighboring structures, once those were in place we were able to begin knocking down the seat of the fire,” said Couch.

One firefighter was taken to Wetzel County Hospital after he suffered an ankle injury in the initial attack of the fire; he was treated and released from the hospital.

“We are placing an initial estimate of at least $105,000 in damages to the home and its contents,” Couch said. “At this time, the fire appears to be nothing more than an accidental fire.” The department has completed their investigation and filed the normal report with the West Virginia Fire Marshals Office.

A total of 12 firefighters from the New Martinsville Department along with 12 additional firefighters from the Paden City Volunteer Fire Company battled the blaze and were assisted on the scene by New Martinsville Police, Wetzel County Emergency Medical Service, Allegheny Power, Mountaineer Gas, and the New Martinsville Water Department.