West Virginia county hands bill to state for fighting fire

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — The state of West Virginia has been handed a $1.44 million bill for a county’s expense of fighting a weeklong warehouse fire.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports that Wood County officials presented the bill Tuesday to Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Secretary Jeff Sandy.

Officials believe the county would have gone bankrupt if they had to foot the bill themselves.

The largest expense of more than $916,000 was from a Pennsylvania contractor that specializes in putting out industrial fires. Another expense of about $390,000 was for air-quality testing conducted by the Little Rock, Arkansas-based Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health.

The blaze began Oct. 21 in the 420,000-square-foot (39,000-square-meter) property owned by Intercontinental Export Import Inc., or IEI Plastics.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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