Business, home lost in Belpre fire

Photo by Brett Dunlap Fire departments from Belpre, Little Hocking, Dunham and Blennerhassett responded around 6 p.m. Thursday to a fire at Metz and Sons General Contractors, 1515 Washington Blvd. in Belpre. The fire destroyed the business and an adjacent home and also damaged other adjacent structures. Washington Boulevard was closed most of the evening.

BELPRE — A fire destroyed a building and a house on Washington Boulevard in a blaze battled most of Thursday evening.

Metz and Sons General Contractors at 1515 Washington Blvd. was destroyed along with an adjacent house, said Tony Cronin, chief of the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department

Cronin said the fire was reported at 5:48 p.m. Thursday.

Thick black smoke billowed into the air and could be seen several miles away, including from the annual Pumpkin Drop at the Belpre Elementary School. The fire drew spectators at Civitan Park where some traffic was detoured.

Mutual aid was requested from the Little Hocking and Dunham volunteer fire departments in Ohio and Blennerhassett in West Virginia, Cronin said. Thirty firefighters responded to the scene, he said.

Photo by Jeff Saulton The charred front of Metz and Sons General Contractors on Washington Boulevard in Belpre where a fire destroyed the business and a home and damaged adjacent structures. The state fire marshal is expected to be on the scene today.

Cronin said there were no injuries. One person was home at the time, but was able to get out without injury, he said.

No cause of the fire had been determined at presstime, however, Cronin said the Ohio State Fire Marshal was expected to be in Belpre this morning.

Washington Boulevard was closed between the Belpre Senior Citizens Center and McDonald’s. Officials hoped the street would be reopened before midnight.