PARKERSBURG - The cause of a fire that destroyed a trailer home on 32nd Street Thursday is undetermined, but investigators believe it to be accidental in nature, a fire official said.
Members of the Parkersburg Fire Department were called to 501 32nd St. around 1 p.m. in response to a trailer fire.
When crews arrived there was some confusion as to if someone was inside the structure, said Parkersburg Chief Fire Inspector Tim Flinn.
Photo by Jody Murphy
John Beckett, in the wheelchair, and his brother Gerald, standing, lost their home in a trailer fire Thursday afternoon in Parkersburg.
"It was later determined that no one was inside, but firefighters performed rescue operations in case there was someone trapped inside," said Flinn.
Firefighters had to force open the locked door and did a room-by-room search.
It took crews less than 10 minutes to extinguish the blaze, but the trailer is a total loss. Fire and smoke damage is estimated around $12,000, said Flinn.
While the cause remains undetermined, the fire may have started when combustible materials came too close to a light fixture, said Flinn.
The trailer is owned by Rick Wiseman of Vienna, but it had been the residence of John and Gerald Beckett. The two brothers, both in their 70s, were located safely.
The two were interviewed by officials trying to determine the cause of the fire.
Parkersburg fire Chief Eric Taylor said officials were trying to determine if the brothers were inside.
The brothers claimed they had been locked out of the trailer for the last few days.
"We weren't in there," Gerald Beckett said.
The American Red Cross was on the scene Thursday to assist the Becketts with living arrangements, food and clothing. Flinn said several other caregivers had stopped by the residence to check on the brothers.