Blaze destroys Market Street apartment

PARKERSBURG – An early-morning fire that destroyed a Market Street structure remains under investigation.

Crews responded around 3 a.m. Thursday to reports of a fire in a building in a wooded area near Market Street. The building was a carriage house that had been converted into a two-bedroom apartment. Officials said the structure was a total loss.

Capt. Tim Flinn, executive officer for the Parkersburg Fire Department, said crews were called around 3 a.m. Thursday to reports of an unknown type of fire in a wooded area between Camden Clark Medical Center, St Joseph Campus, and Market Street

Later calls and information from initial responders indicated the fire was in a building behind 1331 Market St., located at the end of a narrow alley.

The structure was fully involved when the crews arrived and more companies were brought out to assist in running water to the structure and fight the fire. Flinn said the apartment was unoccupied.

Officials were initially unable to locate the owner of the property, who was believed to be Patricia Weigle of Vienna.

A woman at the scene of the fire later Wednesday morning declined to identify herself, but said she was responsible for the property. She said the building was owned by a company and the apartment had recently been renovated with a new roof and windows. She said she was unable to put a dollar value on the property or the damage.

Flinn later identified the woman as Weigel.

Flinn said firefighters initially thought the building was only being used for storage and placed an initial value of the loss at about $20,000.

One firefighter, Brad Dimit, was slightly injured when unknown building contents fell on top of him, but no medical attention was needed, Flinn said. St Joseph Ambulance Service and Parkersburg police also were on scene.

“The dispatchers did a nice job of providing us information as the emergency was being reported,” Flinn said. “There was a concern of major power lines running above the structure and Mon Power was requested to the scene where they arrived to disconnect electric to the involved structure and check on the power lines.”

The structure did have electric service. The firefighters remained on scene for approximately three hours with overhaul and extinguishing hot spots.

“The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, but investigators will be on scene the remainder of the morning,” Flinn said. “The firefighters did a good job with a fire that was difficult to access around and kept nearby structures from being involved.”

If anyone has any additional information about the fire, contact the Parkersburg Fire Department at 304-424-8470.