PARKERSBURG - The cause of a Park Avenue fire remains under investigation, according to Chief Fire Inspector Tim Flinn.
Members of the Parkersburg Fire Department responded to a vacant house fire at 1503 Park Ave. around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Flinn said a female passerby spotted the fire and notified 911.
Flinn said the fire likely started in the kitchen and may have been caused by an electrical issue in the two-and-a-half story brick house.
"The possibility of it being electrical is not ruled out," he said. "We couldn't tell if something was too close to a light or bad wiring or worn wiring."
Flinn said efforts to determine the cause of the fire are further hampered by previous fires at the house. The house had been on fire at least twice before (several years ago) and the soot damage still remained.
The fire was contained, but Flinn said it penetrated the upper levels of the house. Firefighters had a tough time with the blaze due to the structure's slate roof.
"It held the heat in," he said.
Parkersburg Fire Chief Eric Taylor said fire fighters had to work around the home's furnishings.
"The home was full of stored household items," said Taylor. "Which somewhat hampered the advancement of our fire lines."
Taylor said it took fire fighters about 30 minutes to declare the fire "under control."
Taylor said the fire appears to have originated on the first floor in a dining room. The cause of the fire is currently ruled undetermined, officials said.
The department's last unit departed the scene around 2 a.m.
The house suffered about $15,000 in damage from the fire, Flinn said, and had about $30,000 in damage from all the fires.
Flinn said there was no one living in the home at the time of the fire. The previous owner recently died. Flinn said the man's son, who lives a few hours away in Ohio, is the current owner. The man was not notified of the fire until Wednesday morning.