LOGAN, W.Va. — The City of Logan Fire Department was called out to battle another huge fire late Thursday night. This was the second fire within the last two weeks that has occurred in the city.
“The call in right around 10 p.m. When the guys lifted the bay garage doors, they could see a huge, huge amount of fire,” Scott Beckett, chief of the Logan Fire Department, said of the fire on High Street. “It ended up being five actual structures and three vehicles.”
Beckett and his crew also responded to a large fire Draper Street involving eight structures on March 29. The department was able to extinguish three of the fires resulting in only five structures being destroyed by the flames.
The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s office, who is investigating both fires, said the origin of the High Street fire hasn’t been determined.
“It is undetermined right now due to the amount of damage,” Jason D. Baltic, Deputy State Fire Marshal, said. “Right now we are talking to people and trying to get information.”
Beckett suspects arson in both fires.
“The house that it started in had been vacant for a long time,” Beckett said. “It ended up spreading to another vacant structure, then to another, then to three vehicles which were legally owned and then went to two houses above those that were occupied structures. It was just a mess.”
Beckett said several people were hurt financially by the fire.
“A lot of people lost a lot of things with no insurance,” Beckett said. “But I can’t say enough about how good our guys did. The men really performed another miracle up there to keep half the road from burning.”
Beckett said their main concern during the fire was the occupied structures near the fire.
“We had two to the south, two to the east and two to the north. We also lost a lot of utilities up there,” Beckett said.
The department crew also suffered several injuries in the High Street fire.
“We had a firefighter burned. We had a fire fighter treated for smoke inhalation at the scene,” Beckett said. “We had an electrical wire burn and fall into a fence and we had several fighters in electricity. Cuts, bumps, bruises… you don’t come off from something like that and not anyone get hurt.”
Beckett said he considers the fires a senseless act.
“It’s just senseless. Somebody needs to come forth and give us some information and let us try to get these people in jail. If anyone has any information, call us, call the city police or call the arson hot line at 1-800-233-FIRE (3473). There are rewards with information leading to an arrest,” Beckett said. “Stand up, take your community back and let’s get these thugs off the street.”
Martha Sparks is a news reporter and can be reached at 304-752-6950, ext. 1728, or via Twitter at @MarthaSparks.