UPDATE: 18 people affected by Tuesday morning's fires in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 12/27/17 3:35 P.M.

Separate fires that occurred during a two-hour span early Tuesday morning in Parkersburg left more than a dozen people needing assistance.

According to the American Red Cross in Parkersburg, eight adults and 10 children were affected by the fires at 400 13th St. and 1617 Avery St.

Parkersburg Fire Chief Jason Matthews says both fires were accidental, and no one living in the Avery Street home or the apartment building on 13th Street was injured.

The fire occurred not long after another fire destroyed two vacant homes at 804 and 806 19th Street.

The cause of that fire remains under investigation.

UPDATE: 12/26/17 10:00 P.M.

Fire officials in Wood County say two of three fires that broke out early Tuesday morning appear to be accidental. The cause of the other one is not determined at this point.

The first fire broke out at 804 19th Street in Parkersburg around 4 a.m. Parkersburg Fire Chief Jason Matthews say there was heavy fire in that home and it extended to the attic of the home next door, located at 806 19th Street. While crews battled that blaze, the floors of one of the buildings collapsed. Matthews says the buildings were not stable and they were demolished within hours.

The properties' owner says both homes were vacant for years and he used them for storage. He also said his properties were broken into multiple times and vandalized over the years. The most recent incident occurred right before Christmas. There was a minor injury reported from one of the firefighters. Other than that, no one else was harmed. Matthews says this fire is the one that needs further investigation for a cause.

The next fire occurred around 5:30 a.m. at an apartment building at the corner of 13th and Avery Streets. Matthews says the fire was contained to one of the apartments on the 2nd floor. He says it was put out quickly. One of the firefighters sustained burns to his hand and was treated at the hospital. The cause appears to have to do with wiring in the floor space. This fire was ruled an accident.

The final fire occurred just before 6 a.m. at a home on the 1600 block of Avery Street. Matthews say 5 people were inside the home at the time and all made it out safely. It was cleared within 15 minutes. The cause is due to wiring in a fuse box in the wall. The fire was ruled an accident. There were no reported injuries.

UPDATE: 12/26/17 9:45 A.M.

Fire investigators are still trying to determine whether anyone was inside a building damaged by fire early Tuesday morning.

The fire at 804 19th St., was the first of three fire calls handled by the Parkersburg Fire Department between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. The others were at 400 13th St., and 1617 Avery St.

Fire Chief Jason Matthews says two firefighters suffered minor injuries fighting the fires, including one who was treated at Camden Clark Medical Center for burns on his hand.

Matthews says a floor of the building at 804 19th St., collapsed about 10 minutes after crews arrived, prompting firefighters to pull out of the building. The fire burned the first and second floors and the attic before spreading to an adjacent structure. Both structures were destroyed.

Matthews says the building at 804 19th St. had no utilities and that neighbors reported seeing people who were believed to be homeless going in and out of the building.

The second fire at the Savage Apartments at 400 13th St., was called in about 5:30 by a resident reporting smoke in an apartment.

Matthews says six Parkersburg firefighters were diverted from the earlier fire, and Vienna and Blennerhassett Volunteer Fire Departments provided mutual assistance.

Matthews says everyone got out of the building and there were no injuries.

About 20 minutes later, Matthews says crews responded to 1617 Avery Street after a resident reported an indoor electrical panel was on fire. He says it was put with a fire extinguisher.

Both the 13th Street and Avery Street fires are believed to be accidental.


Parkersburg firefighters were busy battling three fires early Tuesday morning.

The Wood County 911 Center received a call around 4 a.m.Tuesday about a possible structure fire at 804 19th street.

Dispatchers confirmed that the home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

Shortly afterwards, dispatchers say firefighters were called a fire at the Savage Apartment Complex on 13th Street and one on the 1600 block of Avery Street.

No injuries were reported injuries in any of the fires.

Officials also say all fires have been contained.

We will continue to follow each of these fires and release updates as new details become available.

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