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UPDATE: Polymer Alliance Services Issues Statement After Fire

By: Mollie Lair Email
By: Mollie Lair Email

UPDATE: 7/23/2012 5:50 PM

The West Virginia State Fire Marshall is investigating the fire that hit the old Ames warehouse last Friday.

Polymer Alliance Services, which currently owns the building released a statement to WTAP News.

Seven employees work at the warehouse and the company says no one will lose their job after the fire.

Less than five percent of the 250,000 square foot facility was affected.

The warehouse stores plastic pellets for polymer products.

The fire marshall is looking for the cause.

UPDATE: 7/21/2012 4:05 PM

74 firefighters from 8 departments worked together to fight the flames.
The old Ames building, now owned by Polymer Alliance Services, is a huge plastics storage facility.

The structure sustained most of the damage, but the flammable nature of the material inside was a concern.

Fire consumed about 10% of the building, but smoke damage is more extensive. The fire was mostly contained to the main building, but other small buildings posed a risk to firefighters on scene.

"That buildings a huge building in the middle and then it's got add on buildings around it and one of those add on buildings had a partial roof collapse and there was a fire in the roof area that we couldn't get to safely so we ordered a track hoe and Empire Builders brought a track hoe in and we tore that section of the building down. And then extinguished it on the ground," says Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mark Stewart.

Firefighters traded shifts to fight fatigue in the heat and humidity. Officials say warehouse employees stayed at the building overnight to watch for flare ups, but none were reported.

The State Fire Marshall will conduct an investigation into the cause of the fire.
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UPDATE: 7/20/2012 11:17 PM

It was a team effort tonight to put out a fire at the old Ames building on the 3300 block of Camden Avenue.

"No. Just smoke to start with and then later on the flames started," says eyewitness Steven Mohwish.

Flames reaching more than 10 feet in the air. The old Ames building, now owned by Polymer Alliance Services, caught fire around 4:45 Friday afternoon.

It's estimated 10%of the massive plastics storage facility suffered fire damage, but the smoke damage is much more extensive.

"There's extensive risk with a building of this size. It's easy for people to get lost and of course for it to collapse. 7You know this is probably a 100 year old building. Its been on fire for a couple hours now. Stuffs getting weak. So we're being very cautious," says Parkersburg Fire Chief Eric Taylor.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. The State Fire Marshall has been called in to investigate; standard protocol for a fire of this magnitude.

But the more immediate concern is for the safety of firefighters on scene.

"They're very fatigued at this point. It's hot. It's humid. They're soaking wet from the rain earlier. So we're trying to rotate them in . We've got more guys coming. We've got more on standby," says Chief Taylor.

Officials are saying due to the intensity of the flames and the fact that the building is filled with plastic, it could take hours to get this fire under control.

"It's an old building. We're using extreme caution. We don't want to get any firefighters hurt. There's an extensive fire load worth of plastic inside, cardboard, wood palettes, and the utilities are off, but right now we're being very cautious so that we don't get anybody hurt. As of right now we don't have any injuries and we want to keep it that way," says Chief Taylor.

74 firefighters from 8 departments traded shifts to fight the flames.
Nearly 3 hours after it began the fire was under control. But there's still work to be done.

"Cut some holes in the roof so we can see what we have inside. However, the smoke and the heat are dying down," says Chief Taylor

Only essential manpower and equipment remain on scene.

Sergeant Greg Collins, acting as Public Information Officer for the incident, says teams are still on scene fighting pockets of fire, but the fire is under control.

Stay tuned to WTAP and WTAP.com for the latest information.
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Multiple area fire departments are battling a fire at the old Ames Warehouse building on Old Camden Avenue.

Witnesses say the building is completely engulfed in flames.

We do know no one was injured.

We have a reporter on the scene and are working on getting the latest details.


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