City Mulls Closing Public Restrooms

A trash fire that occurred inside a Heritage Port restroom early Monday afternoon is one of a string of incidents that have occurred at the public facility that may prompt its partial closure, according to WesBanco Area Manager Dennis Magruder.

After receiving an internal alarm from the facility, which is located just beneath a small outdoor plaza at the northwest corner of WesBanco Area, Wheeling firefighters arrived on the scene to find a small garbage can on fire inside the women’s restroom, according to Assistant Fire Chief Paul Harto.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

“We went in and found the can on fire. Investigators are here on the scene and inspecting it now,” said Harto. He said it was still too early to determine the cause of the incident.

Following the fire, Magruder said this is just one of a number of incidents that have occurred at the city-owned facility, which is an extension of WesBanco Arena.

He said most of the incidents have occurred on weekdays.

“This is the latest episode in some of the restroom vandalism,” Magruder said.

He added staff has encountered other problems inside the restrooms such as finding spray paint on appliances and fixtures and, more recently, discovered some drug paraphernalia.

“We are probably going to have to consider closing them up because we can’t staff them all day,” Magruder said.

He added it, “will be a shame,” if it comes to that.

Magruder said if officials do decide to close the facility through the week, they will continue to keep them open for special events on the weekends.