GLENWOOD — There have been two suspicious fires in the southern end of the county in less than a week with the latest happening on Sunday night in Glenwood.
A barn located along W.Va. 2 caught fire and was completely destroyed, according to Valley Fire Department Chief Elza Black. Black said the fire has been ruled suspicious and personnel from the office of West Virginia State Fire Marshal were called to the scene Monday and will return today to continue their investigation. Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, no details are being released as to where the fire was started or how it was started.
Valley firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 8:50 p.m. and didn’t get the fire extinguished until nearly midnight. On Monday, the fire was still smoldering in places. Black said the barn was basically empty except for some hay but this hay, as well as the old, dried lumber of the barn, contributed to the hot nature of the fire and how quickly it burned.
The fire was so intense, it took nearly 30,000 gallons of water to put it out. With no hydrants nearby, firefighters traveled between the scene and Ashton Elementary School to fill up tanker trucks. One truck was parked in the roadway to provide light for the firefighters with traffic being directed around the blaze - though traffic was slowed on W.Va. 2, it was not stopped.
There were no injuries and no damage done to surrounding homes, one of which is the historic Plumley Mansion which is privately owned and sits on the hillside overlooking the barn. When asked who owns the barn which sits near the railroad trestle, Black said it appears the property is in heirship.
Firefighters were called to the home of Ricky Pickens on Palestine Rd. Thursday morning. No one was home at the time of the fire which completely destroyed that residence. This fire was also deemed suspicious in nature with the office West Virginia State Fire Marshal called to investigate. Black said it’s possible the fires on Palestine Rd. and the barn fire on Sunday in Glenwood are connected but there’s no proof of that at this point.
The Valley Fire Department was assisted on the Glenwood fire by the Ohio River Road Fire Department in Lesage.