Wheeling Island blaze claims woman

A WOMAN died Tuesday night after being trapped in a fire on Wheeling Island, and it was one of several blazes battled by firefighters on both sides of the Ohio River.

Another woman escaped from the flames which destroyed the Wheeling Island two-story home, located at 42 Kentucky St. It could not be confirmed at press time whether she was the daughter of the woman who was killed.

Assistant Fire Chief Ed Geisel said the Wheeling Fire Department was called to the Kentucky Street structure at 7:35 p.m., and the blaze “was fully involved when the first company arrived.”

Cause of the fire, which resulted in the house being “a total loss,” is under investigation by Jon Barry, the department’s chief investigator.

Lots of bystanders were at the scene of the fire which occurred when snow was falling.

Answering the call were Engines 5, 4, 2 and 9, Ladder 1, Rescue 1, Duty Chief Larry Murphy and Fire Chief Larry Helms.

The Wheeling department also had answered two other calls Tuesday, and one was a car fire at 5:30 p.m. at 590 National Road, Fulton.

Wheeling firefighters provided mutual aid earlier Tuesday when a call was received at 3:29 p.m. about a small fire at the Tunnel Ridge Mine’s Ohio River loadout facility north of Wheeling.

A Clearview Fire Department spokesperson reported Tunnel Ridge’s safety team was able to put out the fire on its own. At the scene in addition to Clearview and Wheeling firefighters was the West Liberty Fire Department. Also reportedly on the scene were representatives of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Dispatched from the Wheeling department to the loadout facility were Engine 9, Rescue 1 and Ladder 1. The facility is where unearthed coal feeds into three silos with a collective capacity of 28,000 tons. The silos tower above WV 2, about 2 miles north of the Pike Island Locks and Dam.

Another fire occurred early today at 4524 Eoff St., Wheeling. Geisel said answering the call to the structure fire were Engines 4, 2 and 5, Ladder 1, Rescue 1 and Duty Chief Murphy. This blaze is under investigation by Barry.

Today’s fire call was received at 4:09 a.m., and investigators were on the scene at press time.

A blaze also was battled in Ohio’s Jefferson County Tuesday when firefighters were called to the Treasure Island Flea Market, Wintersville. Firefighters answered the call to 110 Main St., Wintersville, at 8:40 a.m. Details were unavailable at press time about the fire.

Pokas can be reached at bettypokas@yahoo.com.