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Blaze Destroys Garage

By Staff | Feb 24, 2010

Firefighters tackle the blaze in Norman Gamble’s garage on Main Street in New Martinsville Sunday morning. The monetary loss was estimated at $71,000. (Photo provided by Keith Nelsen)

Fire destroyed a garage, van, and thousands of dollars in collectibles Sunday morning. The call came into Wetzel County E911 at 9:47 a.m. reporting the fire. Engines and personnel from both the Steelton and Ohio Street stations of the New Martinsville Fire Department were en route to the scene at 9:52 a.m. and on the scene at 9:55 a.m.

Crews found the garage heavily involved in fire on both its first and second floors.Firefighters shielded two nearby structures, including Norman Gamble’s home and another garage located within inches of the garage on fire, while preparing for an interior attack of the blaze.

Shortly into their interior attack and as a result of a heavy “fire load” in the structure, crew’s were pulled from the building and their offensive attack became a defensive attack, deploying a large deluge gun to gain control of the blaze.Once controlled, personnel re-entered the structure and continued to extinguish numerous hidden fires in several voids of the second floor and roof.

The structure is considered to be a complete loss as well as the Gamble’s van, a 1999 Plymouth Voyager that was in the garage at the time of the fire.

The fire was determined to have started on the first floor of the garage, in a portion used as a workshop, and appeared to have been the result of a failed connecting hose for a portable propane turbo heater.

Damages to the garage have been set at $30,000 dollars, to the van at $24,000, and to the remaining contents of the building at $17,000 dollars, for a total of $ 71,000 in estimated damages. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries in the blaze.

New Martinsville Firefighters were assisted at the scene by Wetzel County EMS, New Martinsville City Electric Department, as well as the Water Department and at least three members of the Paden City Fire Company who were in New Martinsville at the time of the fire.

The Paden City Fire Company was on stand-by during the fire.