No injuries in Jacob Street blaze in Wheeling
Cause of the fire under investigation
WHEELING — A woman and her dog escaped a massive blaze at a Jacob Street house on Thursday morning in Center Wheeling.
Wheeling Fire Department Chief Jim Blazier said no one was injured in the blaze at 2319 Jacob St. that is being investigated by the department’s fire investigators.
“Our priority now is extinguishing the fire,” Blazier said at the scene.
He noted there was one woman inside when the fire began and she escaped unharmed. Wheeling police officers evacuated people from neighboring homes in the block as a safety precaution.
One couple, Devyn and James Griffin, was among the people who evacuated their homes. Their apartment is located just two doors down from the house that caught fire. Devyn Griffin said she was getting her day started when she heard someone knocking at her front door.
“Our neighbor was banging on our door telling us to get out, that there was a fire,” she said.
She then yelled upstairs to her husband who was still sleeping. They both exited their home so quickly that they didn’t have time to get their shoes.
“My shoes were right by the door, but I didn’t think about grabbing them,” she added.
Devyn Griffin said they along with others then had to move their vehicles so emergency vehicles could get better access to the scene.
Another woman at the scene, Casey Vandyne, said she lived a block away and was just checking on a friend who lived in the block. She said her friend was OK.
Blazier said he did not know the exact origin of the fire, but believes it might have started on the first floor based on what he was seeing.
The fire appeared to consume a large portion of the house. The entire back half of the property was consumed by flames as firefighters began their battle. Firefighters were able to contain the blaze; it did not spread to neighboring homes.
Numerous Center Wheeling residents came out to watch the fire, with many taking videos of the blaze. The fire began about 9:30 a.m. and firefighters cleared the scene about 11:40 a.m.