Probe Launched Into Cause of Fire

POWHATAN POINT – A representative of the fire marshal’s office and possibly an insurance adjuster were expected to be on the scene today to determine the cause of a fire that extensively damaged the Powhatan Point street garage and destroyed some equipment early Saturday morning.

Powhatan and Shadyside firefighters battled the blaze, which was reported Saturday at about 12:46 a.m. by a person residing in that neighborhood, according to Mayor Mark McVey.

McVey said the fire is believed to have started in about the middle of the building, located at 151 Main St.

A Massey Ferguson tractor and a brush hog used to maintain the ballfield and to grade alleys were destroyed.

Push mowers, weed-cutters, blowers, welders and other small equipment as well as public records such as tickets were pretty much destroyed, according to the mayor.

It was possible to remove two pick-up trucks and two riding mowers from the building, but officials were told that they might not be able to put them on the road because of safety factors as the heat of the flames may have affected the wiring in the vehicles. McVey said the two riding mowers were purchased a couple of years ago for $14,000.

Although the cause of the blaze had not been officially determined as of early today, “we think it’s electrical,” said McVey, who indicated the fire marshal probably would pinpoint the cause this morning. He added the building had been all locked up.

Firefighters were still on the scene until about 3:30 a.m. The mayor, who also was on the scene of the fire, said, “I was very pleased and proud of both fire departments in answering the call in such a quick manner. They coordinated everything efficiently and put the fire under very quickly.” He added that their “quick response probably saved that building and everything in it from being a total loss.”