PARKERSBURG - A fire in the 600 block of Pike Street left one Parkersburg family without a home and blocked traffic for several hours Tuesday afternoon.
The fire at around 3 p.m. Tuesday destroyed the structure, firefighters said. The fire originated at a front porch light, investigators said.
"No one was home at the time," said Parkersburg Fire Department chief investigator Capt. Tim Flinn. "We can't determine if the cause was from wiring or a worn or faulty overloaded light switch."
Parkersburg firefighters, from left, Jason Fleak, Tom Werry, Scott Jenkins and Dave Sims stare at the remains of a fire on the 600 block of Pike Street Tuesday. (Photo by Jeff Baughan)
The house is owned by Phillip and Megan Wise, who lived there with their three children. Megan Wise was picking up her children from school at the time of the fire, Flinn said.
The family is being helped by the American Red Cross, Flinn said.
"Initially there were early reports of entrapment," Flinn said. "Those reports proved to be false when we confirmed the mother was picking up her children from school."
Investigators said the house was being remodeled and combustible materials were near the ignition site, causing the fire to spread quickly.
Officials said Engine 6 and several other fire trucks were called to the scene. Engine 5 was on its way before being delayed when the fire truck was involved in an accident with another vehicle, striking a utility pole, officials said.
The wreck happened on Pike Street between Ninth and 10th Avenue, officials said.
Traffic was detoured from Seventh to 10th Avenue all the way to Division Street. Vehicles trying to turn onto Pike Street from Camden Avenue were diverted by police.
Flinn said the cause of the fire was ruled to be accidental. It was fortunate the mother was away at the time, Flinn said.
"There's always a great reason to have two exits," Flinn said. "Your front door may be blocked from a fire like (the one Tuesday)."
Pike Street reopened to traffic around 5 p.m., officials said.