The Sissonville Volunteer Fire Department building caught fire this morning and authorities say the structure has collapsed. Metro 911 dispatchers say the fire was first reported about 8:40 a.m. Within the hour, the building was destroyed by flames, dispatchers said. A few minutes before 10 a.m. smoke still was pouring from the structure and fire crews still were on scene dousing it with water, but flames were no longer visible.
Dispatchers said no one was believed to have been inside at the time and no injuries were reported.
Officials on the scene said people who live near the department called 911 after seeing smoke coming out of the building.
Douglas Stanley, a highways worker who is directing traffic for the nearby road-widening project along W.Va. 21, said he saw smoke coming from the fire department's roof, but he at first just thought it was steam.
He said he realized what was happening when he saw flames shoot from the top of the building, and he said he heard a couple of explosions come from inside.
Sissonville Fire Chief Thomas K. Johnson said the department lost two fire engines, a water tanker and a six-wheeler, a kind of ATV that is used as a rescue vehicle. All were destroyed, along with the department's additional equipment.
Fire investigators who were on the scene said no one has any idea right now what caused the blaze.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said the county will offer assistance to help the department recover.
"We are going to support the fire department," he said. "Kanawha County will do whatever is necessary to keep them in business."
Fire departments from all over the county arrived on scene to help fight the fire, including crews from Malden, Rand, Chesapeake, Tyler Mountain and Davis Creek.
The Sissonville VFD is located next door to the new Sissonville Middle School on W.Va.
Johnson, the chief, said his department serves a 125-square-mile area in the county.
He said the station was built in the 1960s. The fire department has two other substations in the Sissonville area.
Written by Charleston Daily Mail
Courtesy of YellowBrix - YellowBrix