Firefighters’ quick response saves building, delays Halloween

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Firefighters from three departments respond to a building fire on Popple Dungeon Road in Chester. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

When a call came in for a fire in an outbuilding on Popple Dungeon Road around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon,  12 or so Chester firefighters were already at the station wearing their turnout gear. They were on the road in less than 30 seconds and the quick response saved the building. But for trick or treaters it was nearly a loss.

Fire Chief Matt Wilson explained that on Halloween, the fire department puts “one truck in each neighborhood … (to) hand out candy. But this time we had to go.”

Wilson said he hoped that kids would understand. Later in the evening, the department announced that they would be handing out candy to those who want to get dressed up again and come to the fire station between 5 and 7 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 1.

When firefighters arrived at the house on Popple Dungeon across from Nudist Camp Road the area was thick with smoke, according to Wilson and a 20 x 20 foot workshop building was on fire with smoke showing from all four sides.

“Crews entered the building, found the fire in one corner and knocked it down,” said Wilson. “One wall was fully involved along with about half of the second floor.”

Firefighters inspect the building, looking for fire and removing anything flammable.

The cause of the fire was an improperly installed wood stove, according to Wilson, who added that the stove pipe had no insulating collar, which set the wall on fire and spread up to the floor above.  Damage was estimated at between $10,000 and $20,000.

“Three quarters of the structure is still sound,” said Wilson.

There were no injuries.

In addition to Chester Fire and Chester Ambulance, Proctorsville and Springfield Fire departments responded to the fire scene while Bellow Falls Fire covered the Chester station.


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