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Blaze Damages Row of Homes on Virginia Street on Wheeling Island

Fire Department Spokesman: Largest Fire in Six Years

Photo Provided
More than 40 firefighters battles a blaze that damaged a row of houses Monday morning on Virginia Street on Wheeling Island. No one was hurt by the fire, though two families were displaced.

WHEELING — Firefighters battled a two-alarm blaze for more than three hours this morning that damaged several homes on Virginia Street on Wheeling Island.

Philip Stahl, public information officer for the Wheeling Fire Department, said no one was hurt, but people living in two homes were displaced by the fire that affected much of the 60 block of Virginia Street. He said firefighters discovered a dog that did not survive the fire.

Between 40 to 50 firefighters from multiple engine companies were dispatched at about 12:09 a.m. when the fire was reported at 61 Virginia St.

“The person inside that residence woke up to a smoke alarm going off and was able to get out and report the fire at his house,” Stahl said.

He said the fire spread next door to 63 Virginia St. before it advanced westward down the row of houses, many of which are vacant.

Property at 61, 63 and 65 Virginia St. were severely damaged.

“Most likely all of those were a total loss,” Stahl said. He said 67 Virginia St. had major damage, while 69 Virginia St. had minimum damage, and 59 Virginia St. sustained some heat damage.

The fire department’s investigator was on scene trying to determine where the fire started and what caused it.

“We’ll be inside investigating until we can sift through as much debris so as to pinpoint the origin and a cause of the fire,” Stahl said.

He said firefighters monitored the affected properties today to make sure the fire doesn’t rekindle.

The American Red Cross has been contacted to assist two families who lived at 61 and 65 Virginia St. — that were displaced by the fire. Their names have not been released to the media.

“They have most likely lost all their belongings,” Stahl said. “We’re thankful for the Red Cross to come in and help.”

Flames were visible against the rainy nighttime sky and the smell of smoke was carried by a light breeze to the north end of island.

“This is probably the largest fire we’ve had since 2011 when we had three homes catch on fire on Eoff Street,” Stahl said. “It is very rare to talk about five to six homes that are damaged by fire. This was a very large fire that damaged a lot of property.”



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