PARKERSBURG - Officials are investigating what has been described as a suspicious fire Sunday afternoon on Market Street in downtown Parkersburg.
The Parkersburg Fire Department was dispatched to 1046 Market St. - located between the U.S. Post Office and Market Manor - at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, said fire Captain M.A. Kunselman.
Firefighters arrived on scene to see flames showing through windows, and heavy smoke coming from the abandoned building, Kunselman said.
Photo by Gretchen Richards
A Parkersburg firefighter uses an ax to break the padlock off the front door of a Market Street building during a fire on Sunday afternoon in downtown Parkersburg. Firefighters had to open multiple entryways in order to confirm the building was unoccupied.
Firefighters entered the long brick building to find two separate fire locations, he said. One was on the ground floor and the other was in the basement. The two fires showed no visible trail from one to the other, and were not located near each other on the different floors, Kunselman said.
"This looks like a suspicious fire, but remains under investigation," he said Sunday evening.
The building is listed as being for sale, Kunselman said. The owner's name was unknown on Sunday evening, and firefighters could only track the building to the real estate company trying to sell it, Rapid River Realty LLC, he said.
"This is an abandoned building," Kunselman said. "There is no power, no utilities, and no one living inside. There is no reason for it to be on fire," he said Sunday at the scene.
Investigators patrolled the building's multiple floors, opening windows to vent smoke and check for hot spots on Sunday afternoon.
The fires were under control within five minutes of each being discovered, Kunselman said. The fire in the basement was not discovered until some time after the fire on the first floor was contained, he said.
The Parkersburg Fire Department used 15 firefighters, five engines, one ladder truck, and one rescue truck in fighting the fire, Kunselman said.