RANDOLPH COUNTY, W.Va. – Damages are being assessed Tuesday after a fire destroyed a five-bay West Virginia Division of Highways maintenance garage in Randolph County on the evening of Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.
WVDOH District 8 Engineer Jamie Rossi said the fire broke out at the Coalton Substation garage, near Coalton, at about 6 p.m. The three individuals stationed at the garage were treating roads at the time.
“We had a little bit of a freeze and they were out spot-treating the roads,” Rossi said.
A fairly new grader and an old culvert clearing truck were in the 4,000-square foot garage at the time of the fire. Both were destroyed. Another dump truck, usually stationed at the garage, was in Elkins for maintenance at the time, but its snowplow attachment was lost in the fire.
All of the hand tools stored in the building were also destroyed.
“We can replace the building,” Rossi said. “We can replace the equipment. Thank God the employees were out and everyone’s safe.”
Rossi said units from several local fire departments responded to the blaze, but the building is a total loss. The block building housed five equipment bays and an office.
All three employees stationed at the garage were on the road spreading salt at the time of the fire, so those three snowplows were spared. Rossi said the facility’s salt storage, fueling station, and a building used to wash vehicles were also spared.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is on-site today to assess the damage and investigate the cause of the blaze.
District 8 covers Pendleton, Pocahontas, Randolph, and Tucker counties.