Fire damages vacant Wells Circle house

PARKERSBURG – A vacant house on Wells Circle where the utilities are disconnected was substantially damaged by a fire early Wednesday morning, according to the Parkersburg Fire Department.

The department received the call about 3 a.m. of a structure fire at 1320 Wells Circle. Flames and smoke were visible when firefighters arrived, Capt. Tim Flinn, chief fire inspector, said. They left about 5:30 a.m.

The house is believed to be owned by Allen Brown of Parkersburg, Flinn said. It is unknown whether there is insurance on the house.

The structure had no utilities and was vacant, but witnesses said vagrants and juveniles would sometimes occupy the premises, Flinn said. The house appears to be structurally unstable and may be a total loss, he said.

No injuries were reported, Flinn said. It was nonetheless a dangerous fire for firefighters because of the heavy contents of combustibles stored and a floor collapsed, he said.

A propane tank was discovered inside the home, he said. Also, the house sits back from the street on a hill with high grass and debris, hampering mobility of the firefighters, Flinn said.

The fire has been ruled incendiary, Flinn said. Witnesses with information can contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 304-424-8522 or the Parkersburg Police Department at 304-424-8444, he said.

“We did receive several reports from bystanders there were juveniles seen in the area with what appeared to be a gas can with them and also an adult male near the structure at the time of the fire,” Flinn said. “The fire appears to have started on the right side of home on the ground level of the two story building.”

Fifteen men, five engine companies, the aerial truck, a rescue truck and the command vehicle responded, he said.