E. Williamson - An alleged explosion that was said to have occurred inside a home located at 1207 E. 6th Avenue in Williamson on Thursday evening reportedly triggered an electrical fire that quickly engulfed the three story, wood structure in flames.
At approximately 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, an emergency call was placed to Mingo County 911 reporting the fire. The Williamson Fire Department (WFD) responded with three engines and one ambulance, along with a total 8 full-time and part-time firefighters. Once they were on scene, they quickly realized the intensity of the blaze and the less than desirable water pressure from the nearby hydrants and called the Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department to bring their newly-purchased water tanker truck to the East End location, which also provided another unit and 9 volunteer firemen to help fight the rapidly spreading fire.
According to the home owners Darrell and Goldie Stevens, who resided there with their 2 sons and another male, one family member was home at the time the electric came back on in the E. End neighborhood, having been off since shortly after 11 p.m. during a thunder storm that occurred the night before. The male reported hearing a loud explosion that came from the vicinity of his parent’s bedroom on the first floor of the home, where the breaker box was located inside a closet. He further relayed that he successfully evacuated 4 dogs from the residence before he had to flee to safety but was sadly, unable to reach the remaining 3 who were inside kennels in the bedroom and they perished in the fire. The 3 that expired were the puppies of a Bassett Hound the family had as a pet for many years. The mother dog kept going toward the direction of the front door of the home during the fire in what was thought to be an attempt to reach her young.
The home was listed at a total loss. The single dwelling structure to the left of the Steven’s home suffered damage to their siding and roof. Firefighters from both Williamson and Chattaroy fought for approximately 4 hours to extinguish the flames and prevent it from spreading to adjacent structures that were in close proximity.
The Steven’s family did not have insurance on the home and are in dire need of donations of furniture, appliances, household items and clothing in the following sizes: Men’s pants, sizes 29/30, 30/32 and 34/32; boys shirts in sizes 16/18, 18/20 or a men’s size small; men’s shirts in size large and men’s shoes in sizes 10 ½ and 11. Women’s clothing that is needed is medium and large in shirts, size 10 and 12 in pants and 7 or 7 ½ in shoes. If you have clothing to donate you are asked to call Paula Messer at 304-475-3041, which is the residence where the displaced family is staying until they can make other arrangements.
“It’s so sad to see anyone lose their home to fire or to flooding, but when it’s your neighbors that you have lived beside of for many years, it affects you even more,” stated Williamson Council member York Smith whose home is located to the right of the structure that was lost. “My heart goes out to Darrell, Goldie and their boys. I hope that anyone that can will lend a helping hand and donate items they’re going to need to reestablish a household.”
Also responding to the fire call was Sgt. J. Spence of the Williamson Police Department and Jerrod Fletcher, the Mingo County Emergency Services Director. The WFD had to go back to the location on Friday, after a small portion of the rubble reignited.