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West Union blaze leaves 6 homeless, destroys building

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

WEST UNION -- An early morning fire Saturday left three West Union families homeless and a Main Street building destroyed.

Eight fire departments from Doddridge and Harrison counties responded to the 6:40 a.m. blaze, which affected three apartments and four businesses, West Union Fire Department Chief Pat Heaster said.

An early assessment indicates that the fire was accidental, Heaster said.

"It appears that it was electrical," he said. "That's just our first estimate."

One resident of the building received minor burns, Heaster said. The blaze was extinguished by 10 a.m., and firefighters left the scene by 1:30 p.m., he said.

A Nutter Fort firefighter was slightly injured after getting his feet caught in an aerial truck's ladder. He was in good condition Saturday evening, said Nutter Fort Fire Chief Tom Rohrbough.

The two-story downtown structure received heavy damage in the blaze, Heaster said.

"The businesses have smoke and water damage," he said. "One apartment was totaled, and the others had smoke and water damage.

"The whole structure is pretty well totaled."

A total of six people were left homeless because of the fire, Heaster said. The American Red Cross helped them find temporary shelter, he said.

Heaster was unsure Saturday if investigators from the state fire marshal's office would be called to investigate the blaze, he said.

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