Firefighters contain fire in former mill

June 04, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Firefighters who arrived within minutes of a fire at an old mill building Friday were able to keep it from spreading beyond a workshop and small adjacent room, Capt. Steve Canby of the Martinsburg Fire Department said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, he said.

The fire was reported at 12:03 p.m. and Martinsburg Fire Department firefighters arrived four minutes later.

After forcing doors open and breaking locks, firefighters began extinguishing flames, bringing the fire under control at 12:32 p.m., Canby said.

The last engine left at 4:50 p.m.

The brick building, which was part of the Interwoven Mill complex established in 1891, is bordered by John Street, Porter Avenue and King Street.


Portions of all three streets were closed while firefighters were on the scene.

Canby said the area in which the fire started appeared to be a workshop. He said he is not sure of its purpose, saying that investigators still were waiting to speak with the building's owner, Vincent Groh.

Canby said the fire could have been worse.

Although heavy smoke and flames were present when firefighters arrived, the blaze had not spread beyond the workshop and a small room next to it, Canby said.

Damage was estimated at $25,000, but firefighters saved at least $750,000 worth of property, Canby said.

Along with Martinsburg Fire Department personnel, emergency responders from the Office of Emergency Services, Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Department, Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department, Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department, Williamsport Fire Department and Halfway Fire Department responded.

Martinsburg Police Department officers and volunteers with the sheriff's reserves directed traffic around the fire scene.

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