Police log 2/27

February 27, 2002

Anthrax scare at IRS

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - West Virginia State Police responded to the Internal Revenue Service facility after they received a call Tuesday about a package that contained a suspicious substance that resembled anthrax.

The package was tracked back to the sender, who was an employee at an Internal Revenue Service facility in Roseville, Minn., Sgt. M. A. Carte said.

The package was sent to an employee at the Berkeley County IRS facility who had requested the materials from the Minnesota facility, he said.

The investigation determined that the material was not anthrax, Carte said.

The package was delivered between 10:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., Carte said.

The federal law enforcement officers at the facility, the Berkeley County State Police, and the Berkeley County Office of Emergency Services responded to the situation.


Diesel fuel spills on Interstate 81

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A strap holding the left-side fuel tank on a tractor-trailer traveling northbound on Interstate 81 broke, causing the tank to drag on the road, spilling 150 gallons of diesel fuel Tuesday night, fire officials said.

The truck driver was notified by other truckers that his fuel tank was dragging on the interstate. He pulled off the interstate near exit 16E, where a large portion of the fuel spilled from a hole in the tank, according to Robert Robinson, president of the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire department blocked off the exit ramp while the Division of Highways poured sand on the fuel. The ramp was closed for about an hour, he said.

Traffic used exit 16 west to enter Martinsburg, W.Va., so traffic was not delayed, he said.

Robinson said officials from the Environmental Protection Agency will look at the site this morning and will require the trucking company who owned the truck to replace the gravel and clean up the area.

No one was injured during the incident and the fuel did not spill near any water source, Robinson said.

Berkeley County's Hazardous Material truck was on the scene, but it was not put into service, Robinson said.

Barn destroyed by fire

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A large barn at 1201 Pine Stump Road in Greene Township, Pa., was destroyed by a fire on Monday night, fire officials said.

The 100-foot-by-60-foot barn, owned by Jay Lytle, was fully engulfed in flames when the Fayetteville Fire Department arrived at about 8:30 p.m.

The nine units that eventually responded were hampered by the lack of nearby water and the number of vehicles parked in the area, Fayetteville Fire Chief Max Lenherr said in a news release.

Tankers supplied water to the scene before firefighters eventually hooked a 1 1/2-mile-long supply line from a hydrant at the intersection of Black Gap and Byers roads.

The fire was under control at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to the press release.

No animals were injured in the fire, but some farm machinery was lost, Lenherr said.

While fighting the barn fire, firefighters discovered three brush fires in the area, including two that were about 1 mile from the barn.

Fire officials said the cause of the fires are under investigation.

It was unclear if there was a connection between the barn and brush fires, officials said. The State Police Fire Marshal was investigating, Lenherr said.

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