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Fire Destroys Structures

By Staff | Mar 30, 2011

Fire fighters worked tirelessly to extinguish the fire that rapidly spread to three structures and one vehicle on Maple Avenue early Saturday morning. (Photos by Dave and Jamie Benson)

An early morning fire destroyed a Maple Avenue Garage/Apartment and left another garage/apartment and a home with moderate damages.

  New Martinsville fire fighters were summoned to the blaze at 743 Maple Avenue (Rear) at 4:41 a.m. on March 26. The first arriving fire apparatus encountered a heavy body of fire and three nearby structures that were already being damaged by the fire.

Crews battled to keep the fire away from the nearby structures, against a strong northerly wind and two fire hydrants that were situated a considerable distance from the alley where the fire was occurring.

  “We had to deploy over 500 feet of four-inch supply hose from a hydrant on the north end of Maple Avenue and another 200 feet of three-inch supply hose that had to be strung by hand to a hydrant across the railroad tracks at the intersection of Duerr and Front Streets,” said NMVFD Fire Chief Larry Couch.

There was moderate, superficial damage to the home at 743 Maple Avenue estimated to be between $5,000 and $8,000, as well as to the garage at 747 Maple Avenue (rear) which estimated to be at $8,000. Additionally, light damage to a garage/apartment at 741 Maple Avenue estimated to be $1,000. Damages to the garage/apartment where the fire originated were estimated at $30,000, and damages to a mini-van parked outside the garage estimated at $2,700.

The fire is suspected to have originated in the mini-van outside of the garage/apartment at 743 Maple Avenue (rear) and rapidly extended to engulf the garage/apartment.

The fire has initially been declared an accidental fire but remains under investigation.

  “This is one of those fires that makes it hard for folks to really fully understand how it occurred and why the fire was so completely destructive,” says Couch. “But even those who were in immediate danger in the homes who received damage didn’t know the fire was going on until they were awakened by the police officers who arrived ahead of the fire department.”

Fire fighters were en route to the call at 4:43 a.m., with the first fire engine arriving at 4:45 a.m. The fire was declared under control at 5:07 a.m., and units remained on scene until 7:30 a.m.

  NMVFD was assisted at the scene by the New Martinsville Police Department, Paden City Volunteer Fire Company, Sardis Volunteer Fire Department, Sistersville EMS, and the New Martinsville Water Department.