House fire closes Seventh Street

PARKERSBURG -A house fire that started as a result of discarded smoking material led to the evacuation of an office building and closed a section of one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares Monday morning.

Fire units were summoned around 7:40 a.m. Monday to 1739 Seventh St. When crews arrived there were flames showing inside the living room with heavy smoke permeating the structure, Parkersburg fire Capt. Tim Flinn said.

Police blocked the street from Park Avenue to Putnam Street as crews handled the scene.

Suddenlink’s Parkersburg offices, adjacent to the house, were temporarily evacuated as a precautionary measure. Flinn said the employees were allowed to return after about 30 minutes.

The street was blocked for about an hour, but crews remained on-scene until around 10:30 a.m.

Flinn said the fire started as a result of “discarded smoking material.”

The house is owned by Tammy and Roger Bailey. Only Tammy Bailey and a dog were home at the time.

According to Flinn, Bailey was asleep in a bedroom when she was awakened by a phone call. She went into the living room and discovered the fire.

Flinn said Bailey tried to put the fire out but failed and yelled for help. Neighbors got her out of the house and summoned firefighters.

“We don’t recommend putting the fire out yourself. Call the fire department. It could be catastrophic if you don’t,” Flinn said.

Bailey was treated at the scene by ambulance crews but declined transportation, Flinn said. The dog was also uninjured.

Most of the fire damage was contained to the living room, but the house suffered extensive smoke and heat damage throughout. Flinn said Bailey’s home oxygen units aided in the spread of the fire, which has been ruled accidental.

Flinn said crews had the fire out in a matter of minutes. They went to work ventilating the house and checking for extensions.

Fire officials found one smoke detector in the house, but Flinn did not believe it was functioning at the time of the fire.

Flinn said the one-story house suffered approximately $30,000 in structural damage. The house was a wood frame with a masonry stone exterior and a metal roof.

“It was pretty sealed,” Flinn said. “It holds the heat in.”