Parkersburg razes vacant Swann Street house after fire
PARKERSBURG — For the second time in a little more than a week, the city had a vacant structure demolished after an early morning fire.
Parkersburg firefighters responded to 1229 Swann St. just after 3 a.m. Friday and “encountered heavy fire in the rear of the structure,” Fire Chief Jason Matthews said.
The roof and rear wall of the single-story house had collapsed before they arrived, he said.
It took firefighters using two attack lines about 25 minutes to knock down the flames, and they remained on scene until after 5:30 a.m. Friday extinguishing hot spots, Matthews said.
No injuries were reported and no one was found inside the structure, but there was plenty of evidence people had been staying there, despite the house being placarded as uninhabitable, the fire chief said. Bedding was found in different parts of the house, including a mattress and box spring that had burned.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, with more information needed whether it was accidental or intentionally set, Matthews said.
“It could have easily been something up next to the mattress (that caused it to ignite) or someone could have set the mattress on fire,” he said.
A number of tires were inside, accounting for the thick black smoke firefighters encountered at the scene, Matthews said.
City Engineer Adam Stout determined the structure was unsafe and authorized an emergency demolition.
It’s the seventh fire in a vacant structure in the city this year. A house at 1333 Lynn St. was razed April 8 after a fire.
Evan Bevins can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.