BUCKHANNON – A Zeno Street barn was vacant and had no utilities hooked up to it when it erupted into flames Wednesday afternoon.
Career Firefighter First Class Tanner Smith told My Buckhannon that the Buckhannon Fire Department was dispatched to the structure fire at 9 Zeno Street at 4:24 p.m. Firefighters connected to a Main Street fire hydrant and were on scene in two minutes. Zeno Street is located off East Main Street, beside the Bicentennial Inn property.
The unoccupied garage/barn, which borders the Buckhannon River, was quickly engulfed in flames, which ravaged the building. Smith said no utilities, including electric or gas, were connected inside when the fire broke out.
Smith said the fire department couldn’t comment on the fire’s cause, and the incident will be turned over to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office for investigation. A press release from the City of Buckhannon called the fire ‘suspicious.’
Several witnesses reported hearing a large boom before the fire broke out.
“There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians,” Smith added.
About 20 minutes after the call came in, the fire was under control and firefighters began conducting overhaul.
“That means we go through and dig out all the hot spots in the walls and ceilings so it doesn’t catch fire again,” Smith said.
Firefighters remained on scene until about 6 p.m.
In addition to the BFD, the Washington Volunteer Fire Company, Adrian Volunteer Fire Department, Warren District Volunteer Fire Department, Buckhannon Police Department and Upshur EMS responded.
Part of Main Street was blocked off, enabling the fire department to run about 450 feet of hose from the hydrant to the building. The many bystanders, however, caused problems for firefighters and fire trucks trying to access the scene. Smith asked residents to please refrain from stopping when they see a fire or a motor vehicle accident.
“We had a lot of problems with people standing in the road and showing up on scene,” Smith said. He said first responders need to be able to access emergency scenes as quickly and efficiently as possible for the best outcome.