The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

November 10, 2013

Marlinton fire under control after destroying 4 downtown buildings

By Cody Neff
Register-Herald Reporter

MARLINTON — A fire tore through several businesses and at least one apartment building in Marlinton early Sunday morning, according to reports from Pocahontas County’s 911 Center. By Sunday evening, reports said the fire was under control.

A dispatcher from the center said the fire was on Main Street and affected four buildings. Most of those were businesses. The fire caused several people to have to leave their apartment building. Calls for the fire came in around 2:30 a.m., according to dispatchers.

There were at least 12 different fire departments on the scene. A dispatcher said volunteers responded from Greenbrier, Nicholas, Randolph and Webster County. All fire departments and EMS squads in Pocahontas County were also on the scene.

The town’s mayor told Gibbs Kinderman of Allegheny Mountain Radio that the town lost a good chunk of buildings.

“It’s a terrible night, just terrible,” Mayor Joe Smith told Kinderman. “We have lost a whole block and it’s just a terrible day. The fire burned through the Hudson’s building, all the way through the McKay building.

Smith told Kinderman that the fire departments had barriers set up to keep the fire from spreading.

“We also have some tanker trucks here now, and we sent for eight more departments to come with tanker trucks,” Smith said. “We have some outlying tanks that are not tied to the town and consequently we’re shuttling water back into town by tanker truck. The water plant is pumping water, we’re just using more water than what they can produce.”

Smith told Allegheny Mountain Radio that he had experience as a fire fighter and going from his experience, he said they had the fire at least 40 percent contained by the afternoon.

Angelo Jiordano of Allgeheny Mountain Radio shared one witnesses experience of the event in a radio report.

“The McKay Building, or the old bank building, has several apartment buildings on the upper floors,” he said. “One resident said she woke up smelling smoke and within ten minutes firefighters were pounding on her door. Afterward she asked firefighters when she might be able to go back in and see what’s left. She was told that nothing is left.”

By 6:00 p.m., a dispatcher from Pocahontas County 911 said the fire was mostly out, but still smoldering. A final estimation of the damages from the fire was not ready at that time.