More Than A Building Lost

Firefighters from seven departments spent most of Thursday afternoon battling a fire at a Gihon road storage facility.

As long as 45 minutes after it was first reported...flames could be seen coming from building A of the Southside Self-Storage complex.

Smoke from the fire could be seen from South Parkersburg...and one person who lives near the storage complex told us he could smell it...before anyone saw the fire.

"I didn't pay any attention to it," said Robert McElfresh. "People burn wood around here every day. The next thing I knew, when we came out, the storage building was engulfed in fire."

Others who lived nearby had personal belongings in the building...and some lost close to everything they had.

"We had appliances in there," said Eva Wade. "They're gone now."

"The woman who works for the trailer court...everything she owned was in there," said Gloria Roach.

Ironically, this fire has happened just as the owner of the facility, who also owns the mobile home court next door, has been in discussions with Wood County about the future of the mobile home property.

Don Hohman, who lives in California, had a meeting scheduled with the Wood County Commission earlier this week about the properties, but was unable to attend.

"There originally were 50 units; we condemned 11 of those units," said Compliance Officer John Reed. "He (Hohman) has moved 16 of them off. There's probably around 30 that are presently occupied."

Firefighters were able to confine the damage to building A, and there were no injuries.

The fire is believed suspicious, according to the Lubeck Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Stewart, and the state fire marshal is investigating.

Other departments responding were Blennerhassett, Washington Bottom, Eastwood, Mineral Wells, Waverly and Pond Creek.

The Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department in Ohio was placed on standby.

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