Police Suspect Arson in Fire on Center Street

The Moundsville Police Department is labeling a Tuesday morning fire at an apartment on Center Street an arson after a burnt rag smelling of chemicals was found on the porch of the building.

The two residents in the apartment were not injured in the blaze.

According to Moundsville Police Sgt. Don DeWitt, police received a call for the fire at 1:07 a.m. Tuesday at 1316 Center St. The occupant of the home and her daughter noticed flames on the porch while they were watching television.

By the time emergency responders arrived, the fire was already put out by a neighbor with a garden hose after the neighbor heard people screaming.

DeWitt said the fire started on the steps of the garage apartment, which was the only entrance and exit for the residents. Responders later found a burnt rag with a strong smell of accelerant.

The apartment suffered minor damage. The first few steps were charred and the building’s siding was warped from the flames.

“It burned off quickly,” Dewitt said. “It was lucky.”

DeWitt said the victim informed police she did not have any ideas on who started the fire. The incident remains under investigation.

The city experienced another arson attempt last week, when Robert Wise, of 1813 Second St., allegedly set fire to his home during a fight with his grandmother. Wise was charged with first- degree arson. Police do not believe the fires are related.