Official in Williamson are continuing to investigate Monday’s massive fire, and they believe it was intentionally set.
According to a statement from the Williamson Fire Department posted to the department’s Facebook page, firefighters were notified about the blaze at the Williamson Health and Wellness Center building located at 183 East 2nd Street just before 1:30 a.m. Monday. Firefighters, the statement says, discovered a small pile of debris burning in the rear of the building on the third floor, and the fire was extinguished and the debris removed from the building.
According to the statement, firefighters were called back to the same building, just before 7:30 a.m. Monday after being notified of smoke coming from the structure. When firefighters arrived, the statement says, heavy smoke and flames were visible from the location of the initial call, and firefighters eventually had to pull down the outside walls of the building in order to fight the fire.
“An interior attack on the fire was attempted but firefighters were quickly pushed out of the building by the fire and a defensive attack was initiated,” the statement says. “After several hours of fighting the fire from two aerial tower trucks and from the ground, heavy equipment was called in to pull down the exterior walls of the building. By opening the building, crews were able to more easily access the fire and complete the job of extinguishment.”
According to the statement, the Williamson Gun and Archery building located adjacent to the scene of the fire was damaged by water and smoke, but was saved from the fire.
After battling the fire for most of the day, the fire was eventually extinguished. Firefighters from Williamson were assisted at the scene by the Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department, the Belfry Volunteer Fire Department and the City of Logan Fire Department.
“Their manpower and equipment was essential in fighting the fire and protecting the attached building next door. The American Red Cross was on scene with a food truck,” the statement says.
No one was injured in the fires. The fires remain under investigation by the West Virginia State Fire Marshall’s Office, the Williamson Fire Department and the Williamson Police Department, the statement says. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact one those those three agencies.
The Williamson Fire Department expressed its gratitude to the community for its support of the departments while they battled the fires.
“We greatly appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support by our community during the fight,” the statement says. “The food, water, coffee, dry clothes and other things brought to the scene were important to us and helped us continue to work throughout the day. This was truly a small town joined together in aid of its firefighters, no words can describe how thankful we are.”