BUCKHANNON — Fast response by multiple departments prevented what could have been a much larger fire on Tuesday morning.
Around 9 a.m. on November 2, a fire of unknown origin rekindled in the already destroyed businesses on East Main Street. Upon receiving the call, Buckhannon Fire Department was on the engine and out the door. “Our city fire department was on scene within 2 minutes of the 9-1-1 call,” Buckhannon Mayor Robbie Skinner noted. “They did a great job extinguishing the flames quickly and containing them to the point of origin. No one was injured, and no one was found to be inside the building at the time of the fire. We are grateful for our men and women in uniform who protect life and property 24-7.”
With BFD being out of house, Adrian Volunteer Fire Department began covering Buckhannon’s calls. Washington District Volunteer Fire Company was on standby as the firefighters from BFD began to quickly extinguish the fire.
Buckhannon Police Department was on scene to close road traffic. Upshur County EMS also remained on scene to assess any person who may have been affected by the fire. Once the small blaze was extinguished and the building was deemed safe to proceed, the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s office began to investigate. At this time, the fire does not appear to be suspicious in nature and was presumed to be accidental, but the final cause has not yet been determined by the state Fire Marshal.
The building located at the corner of Main and Spring streets originally caught fire Oct. 5, resulting in a great deal of damage for businesses and tenants occupying the 23-23B block downtown. With the same quick response received early last month, no injuries were reported and the roads were opened shortly after the incident.
“Although there have been rumors as to what could’ve started the fire, the cause is not considered to be suspicious, and there was no sign of forced entry into the building,” Mayor Skinner explained. “Our hope would be to have the building demolished within the next 30 to 45 days.” Property owner Travis Foster reiterated that timeline for the planned demolition.
“If there had been a delay in response, the outcome could have been much worse. We were out in under 2 minutes and were on scene fighting the fire,” said Buckhannon Fire Chief JB Kimble. “The response time is the most important thing.”
According to Chief Kimble, the previous fire’s investigation came back as undetermined, but the cause was suspected to be electrical. The building’s wiring was reportedly at least 70 years old and had not been updated. The Fire Marshal’s office continues to investigate Tuesday’s fire, so follow The Record Delta for updates on the final cause once the investigation concludes.