PARKERSBURG - A vacant home on 13th Street was damaged by fire Friday morning and the investigator believes the fire was set.
Parkersburg Fire Department Fire Inspector Tim Flinn said fire crews responded to a call at 713 13th St. about 2 a.m.
The house was in flames as crews arrived. Flinn said crews had the fire quicky knocked down, despite limited access to the front of the house.
Photo by Jody Murphy
The charred remains of the front porch and rooms of a vacant house near 13th and Lynn streets. A fire started near the front door of the house around 2 a.m. Friday. Chief Fire Inspector Tim Flinn believes the fire was intentionally set.
Flinn said the fire started in one of the front rooms of the house near the front door.
"The two rooms sustained most of the damage," he said.
"I believe it is a strong possibility the fire was set."
Flinn said two witnesses viewing the scene from different locations reported a male wearing a black hoodie fleeing the area.
"Evidence was obtained at the scene and will be sent to the crime lab," Flinn said.
Flinn said there was electricity from the pole to the house meter, but no power inside the home. And a gas meter was found in the basement, but no gas had been used. The front door was unsecured.
"If you own a vacant or idle property you should check to see it is secured and nothing out of the ordinary," he said.
The house, owned by Craig McIntire, was heavily damaged. The front porch and the two front rooms were decimated by the fire.
Code enforcement inspected the house Friday to assess and secure the structure.
"It is still questionable as to whether it will be torn down," Flinn said. "It looks bad, but I think it is structurally stable."
The 13th Street structure is just a few blocks from another suspicious fire that led to the emergency demolition of a vacant dwelling. A few weeks ago city crews had to demolish a vacant three-story house on Spring Street after it was ignited twice in a 48-hour span.
"We have not ruled out the possibility of the Spring Street fire and this one being related," Flinn said.