Local firefighters kept very busy

FIRES at several structures and also at debris at one location have been keeping firefighters busy on both sides of the Ohio River.

Several fire departments responded to a blaze behind the former Steeple Valley School Thursday night, and firefighters were on the scene of another fire Wednesday night on U.S. 250. The Wheeling Fire Department responded to fire calls in Elm Grove late Thursday afternoon and in the Arbordale section of Wheeling early this morning.

According to Belmont County 911, the call concerning the fire at the former Steeple Valley School came in at 6:47 p.m. A spokesperson said crews were there for approximately four hours.

Reponding were fire departments from Colerain, Sunset Heights, Mount Pleasant, Dillonvale, Adena, Barton, Brookside and Martins Ferry. The spokesperson said all kinds of debris, car parts, weeds, garbage and similar materials were burning.

On Wednesday night, firefighters battled a fire on U.S. 250 near the former Walker’s Ice Cream store. A spokesperson said a house was destroyed, and a truck parked nearby was also destroyed. Crews were on the scene for about two hours.

No other details on the Belmont County fires were available at press time.

A Wheeling Fire Department spokesman said the blaze at 140 Stone Church Road, Elm Grove, was tough to fight as the large, frame home was surrounded by trees, and it was difficult to get the lines in place.

Sustaining heavy fire damages in the Elm Grove fire were the second and third floors of the large structure while the first floor had heavy water damage.

That blaze began on the second floor of the home occupied by four persons. One individual was home when the fire broke out, and that person left the structure to call the 911 emergency system.

The fire call was received at 5:40 p.m., and initially answering the call were Engines 11 and 10, Ladder 1, Rescue 1 and the duty chief. Additional companies arrived later with Engine 5 and off-duty personnel called for manpower.

Firefighters battled the fire for about four hours, and a couple of the firefighters remained on the scene overnight on a fire watch.

The Wheeling department was called around 1 a.m. today to the Arbordale section of Wheeling where a deck on a home was on fire, and no one was home. The structure was located on a hill, and flames were readily visible so the department was called.

According to the spokesman, the fire was extinguished quickly without any extension to the dwelling. Responding were Engines 11 and 10, Rescue 1, Ladder 1 and the duty chief.

Investigations are continuing into the causes of the Elm Grove and Arbordale fires.