FOLLANSBEE — After fire broke out in a vacant house and spread to an adjacent building Monday evening on Main Street, officials are now suspecting the worst.
Today, Follansbee Fire Chief Larry Rea said the blaze may have been started intentionally. The fire is still under investigation.
“We are seriously looking at an arson fire,’ Rea said. “The state fire marshal will be up here sometime this morning to investigate the scene.”
Hooverson Heights and Follansbee fire departments responded to the 200 block of Main Street at 9:15 p.m. Monday following reports of an explosion inside one of the structures. However, Rea said there was no explosion.
“The house the fire originally started in was gutted out,” Rea said. “It was fully engulfed (in flames) when we pulled up, and the house next to it sustained moderate damage to the upstairs bedroom and attic – the house sits about eight-to-10 feet away to the original (building).”
According to Rea, the house where the fire ignited was vacant.
“People moved out about two-and-a-half months ago,” he continued. “The one next to it is occupied but the person wasn’t home at that time.”
Rea also said the fire damaged a substantial portion of the outside of the second home destroying the vinyl siding and much of the upstairs. No one was hurt during the incident. The person whose home was damaged in the fire is staying with relatives.
“It was full of smoke and water damage so I doubt they (occupants) will be in it,” Rea said.