CRAB ORCHARD, WV (WOAY) – The fire that began yesterday behind the Lillian James Center in Crab Orchard rekindled this morning..
The initial call for the fire came in yesterday at 4:19 p.m. An “all-in” call was issued to every fire department in Raleigh County, in addition to departments in surrounding counties.
“When we first arrived on scene and walked past the trucks, you could feel the heat,” said Beaver Volunteer Fire Department Public Information Officer Will Davis. “It was like standing behind a jet engine. The fire, whatever was burning inside of that structure, was intense. Along with just the ambient temperature of the day, standing on the asphalt, wearing old bunker gear, it was a very hot situation.”
Respondents were on the scene for several hours yesterday evening. Luckily, there were no casualties inside the building that caught on fire.
“I know that the building wasn’t occupied,” Davis said. “It didn’t have power to it. The Fire Marshall’s office is doing an investigation to see what might have caused the fire. When it’s something this big when there are injuries to firefighters, the West Virginia State Fire Marshall’s Office is always on scene.”
There are confirmed injuries to respondents from four different departments. The temperature on the original scene is expected to have been a primary cause of the injuries.
“The State Fire Marshall has said that there were eight total firefighters that were transported to local hospitals for a varying degree of injury,” Davis said. “Most of it was heat exhaustion. The temperatures yesterday were extreme.”
The size and contents of the structure contributed to the wide outreach of departments called in to assist.