GRAFTON— For the eighth time since January, the Grafton Fire Department(GFD) was alerted to the scene of abandon structure fire on Saturday afternoon.
The call went out just before 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, as smoke began rolling from a home on West Boyd Street and could be seen from across town.
Within just minutes GFD’s first trucks arrived at the home and were battling the flames.
According to a report from the Grafton Fire Department, once on scene, members of the department noted a fully involved home, with flames roaring upward from the second story of the structure, and immediately began an interior attack. Crews were then alerted by fellow firemen outside to exit the home quickly because of safety concerns.
Once the members made their safe escape from the house, GFD’s engine 101 and 102 arrived to provide aid, hooking up to nearby hydrants and using their deck guns to suppress the flames.
As firefighters worked to combat the blaze and keep it from spreading to nearby homes, the second story of the home collapsed onto the first floor sending debris into the roadway. Later the west side of the home would also cave in.
Meanwhile, Grafton’s ladder truck, or Truck 1, made its arrival to the scene and personnel quickly began an ariel attack from West Washington Street, located directly above the home. This attack assisted in fully extinguishing the blaze.
For just over three hours, members of the GFD, as well as the Flemington, Boothsville and Fellowsville Volunteer Fire Departments, worked together to control the inferno.
The Taylor County Medical Emergency Squad and Grafton City Police were also on scene, while the Valley Volunteer Fire Department covered the station for Grafton.
Grafton Fire Department’s Deputy Fire Chief Ryan Roberts, later reported that the home involved, as well as the two neighboring homes, were vacant at the time of the incident, and no injuries had occurred as a result of the fire.
He also noted that the pair of neighboring homes were spared from the blaze, thanks to the quick action taken by his fellow crew members.
“Our men that arrived on scene first did an outstanding job. Their quick action, team work and hard work is what kept the flames from spreading any further,” he shared.
Grafton Fire Chief Wayne Beall also commended all of those that assisted in the great work that had been done.
“Everyone worked together well, and did a great job working the scene,” Beall expressed “As always, we just really appreciate the help from our neighboring departments.”
He revealed that as of now, the cause of this fire remains unknown, but is being investigated by the Grafton City Police Department, as well as West Virginia State Fire Marshal, who collected samples from the rubble. These samples were sent to the State Crime Lab for further examination.
Beall added that they are waiting on those results, saying, “We hoping they can get something from this. These fires need to stop before someone gets hurt.”
While Roberts also commented on the possibilities of injury as a result of the recent up rise in abandon structure fires.
“Even one injury would be one too many. All of our guys are trained well, and know what needs done to remain safe, but when something like this happens, there is always a chance for injuries to occur,” voiced Roberts. “And the risk extends well beyond us firemen or members of the other responding agencies, it could be someone in the structure, a passerby, a child or a pet.”
Beall wants to urge everyone to watch their surroundings closely and to be vigilant, and is asking that anyone who may have seen something or has any information on this fire, or previous incidents to call the city police department at 304-265-0101.