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Moundsville Fire Kills One; Fourth Fatal Fire in Past Month Across Valley

February 17, 2012
COMPILED By STAFF , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

MOUNDSVILLE - A Moundsville man died early today in a house fire at his home while a Powhatan Point man was killed in a blaze at his Belmont County trailer Thursday evening.

Today's fire in Moundsville also injured two firefighters who were battling the blaze. The fire occurred at 13 N. Highland Ave. in Moundsville. The name of the victim was not being released this morning until notification of family.

Moundsville Volunteer Firefighters Danny Holmes Jr. and Rusty Lightner suffered injuries when the front porch roof of the house fell on them. Moundsville City Fire Chief Noel Clarke said they were taken to an area hospital and were listed in stable condition. Clarke said they would be "OK."

Article Photos

Photo by Jim Cochran
Several fire departments answer a fire call at 13 N. Highland Ave. in Moundsville shortly after 7 a.m. today. The fire claimed the life of one man who was in the house at the time. Two Moundsville Volunteer Fire Department members were injured when a porch roof fell on them.

The Moundsville Volunteer Fire Department was the first of several fire departments to respond to the call, which was received at 7:10 a.m. by the city of Moundsville Police Department.

Clarke said there was heavy smoke and fire in the one and a half story, wood frame home when the first unit arrived at 7:14 a.m. He said the fire was "knocked down quick."

The victim was the only person in the building when the fire started. Clarke said they had determined where the fire started but not the cause.

The State Fire Marshal's Office was notified.In addition to the Moundsville Volunteer and city fire departments, volunteer units from Glen Dale, McMechen, Washington Lands and Limestone EMS responded to the scene. Medical examiner Carol Robinson, police officers, sheriff deputies, EMA officials and the Red Cross canteen were also at the scene.

In Belmont County, the trailer fire was reported at 113 Wheeling Ave. around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, claiming the life of Larry Phillips, according to those on the scene and officials at Belmont Community Hospital.

Dr. Brian Brautigan, emergency room physician at the hospital, said Phillips died as a result of the fire, but he referred all other questions to Belmont County and Powhatan Point officials. Neighbors and officials at the scene said Phillips lived alone in the trailer, noting he was about 60 years of age.

"I've known Larry (Phillips) for a long time. This is a real shame," said neighbor Brian Boston. "All the neighborhood kids ride their sleds down the hill in front of his trailer."

Phillips is one of five Ohio Valley resident to die in a fire in the last couple of weeks. Lee West, 15, of Steubenville was found dead inside his home after a fire that investigators believe started in the kitchen of the two-story, wood-frame house at 316 Virginia Ave. Also, Charles Robert Whiting, 86, and his wife, Jean Whiting, 80, died when their single-story Triadelphia home burned and they were unable to escape.

Powhatan Point Fire Chief Thomas Nelms said his department, along with firefighters from Shadyside and Martins Ferry, responded to the Powhatan fire. Upon arrival, Nelms said he found the entire south end of the trailer engulfed in smoke and flames.

"His brother said he was still inside," Nelms said of Phillips. "His brother tried to get in to save him."

Nelms said one squad of firefighters entered the structure specifically to try to rescue Phillips, while another crew entered to begin battling the blaze.

The structure is a total loss, while Nelms said a representative of the Ohio State Fire Marshal's Office was expected to arrived late Thursday to investigate the source of the fire.

"It doesn't take much to get a trailer fire going," Nelms added.

Art Limann, Jim Cochran and Casey Junkins contributed to this story.

 
 

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