W. Va. man critical after being caught in fire

November 15, 1997

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Bunker Hill, W.Va., suffered multiple burns and smoke inhalation as the result of a fire that broke out in an apartment building Saturday afternoon, Martinsburg City Police and Fire Department officials said.

Richard Lee Weatherholtz, 21, was listed in critical condition late Saturday evening at Washington Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The fire took place at a building at 126 S. Church St. at about 2:40 p.m., officials said. When fire crews arrived on the scene, they found Weatherholtz unconscious in a basement stairway.

Weatherholtz, whose address was listed as P.O. Box 475 in Bunker Hill, is not a resident of the building, according to police.


He was first taken by ambulance to City Hospital before being flown to Washington Medical Center.

The fire was limited to the basement area, said Fire Department Capt. David Brining. Damage to the building was estimated to be $15,000.

No one else in the apartment building was injured, he said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by police department and fire department investigators. Brining said he would like to be able to talk to Weatherholtz at some point to get a better idea of what happened.

As a result of the fire, utilities to the building were disconnected and residents of the four occupied apartment units were displaced, Brining said. He said he did not know when they could return.

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