Fire damages Belpre building and injures three | News, Sports, Jobs
BELPRE – The building housing the Bennett Tax Service offices in Belpre was damaged by a fire early Sunday morning which resulted in three people being sent to hospital.
The call arrived at 1:15 a.m. Sunday for the building at 230 Washington Blvd., Belpre Volunteer Fire Chief Tony Cronin said.
When the teams arrived at the scene, flames were issuing from the side and back doors, the chief said.
The fire started in an apartment in the back where a radiator caught fire, igniting a mattress and then the back of the building, he said.
Firefighters carried out both external and internal attacks on the blaze. At one point the ceiling collapsed and a firefighter had to be sent to hospital with possible head and neck injuries. Cronin said that person was treated and was released from hospital the same day.
An occupant of the apartment also had to be sent to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation. This person was also treated and released the same day, the chief said.
A member of the Women’s Auxiliary in the department was outside to help with other efforts when she fell into a hole and broke her arm. She was also sent to the hospital for treatment.
The names of those injured have not been released at this time, the chief said.
The Belpre VFD responded with an aerial truck, pumper, rescue vehicle, squad vehicle, command vehicle and 12 firefighters. Little Hocking VFD and Blennerhassett VFD also responded by helping each other. Blennerhassett sent a truck and five firefighters. Little Hocking sent two engines, a patrol vehicle and 13 firefighters.
Cronin said they brought the blaze under control within 45 minutes to an hour of the crews arriving. The teams cleaned up the scene at 5:13 a.m. on Sunday.
An estimate of the damage was not available on Monday. Cronin said the blaze was considered an accidental electrical fire caused by a shorting of a radiator.
Tax officials Bennett could not be reached on Monday for comment.
The Cutler Candle Company is also present in the building. Company representatives could also not be reached on Monday for comment. However, the company has addressed the fire in a few Facebook posts on its professional Facebook page. Cutler’s representatives said the fire did not originate from their store. They will try to keep everyone in the loop while they assess the damage.
“We would like to sincerely thank the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department, Little Hocking Fire and Rescue Service, Blennerhassett Volunteer Fire Department … for your tremendous effort,” says a post. “You guys and girls were awesome. We really appreciate you… We love our community !!! ”
Brett Dunlap can be contacted at [email protected]