Crews continue to put out massive fire that ripped through the former Ames plant
PARKERSBURG, WV (WCHS/WVAH) —
Fire crews were still working Sunday to put out a massive fire in Parkersburg, nearly two days after the former Ames Plant went up in flames.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire. Wood County School will be closed on Monday due to the fire.
One man in the Parkersburg community caught video of the fire from a bird's eye view with his drone which shows just how intense the fire was and how dangerous it could have been.
“It was amazing. I couldn't believe it,” Tim Garretson said.
He was stunned by the drone's view early Saturday morning when Garretson and his son Anthony followed the fire and thick black smoke they saw coming from the former Ames Plant.
"There were people texting me saying they had smoke clear up in Woodsfield in Monroe County... I just couldn't believe it, and I was standing right next to it."
The two-and-a-half-acre plant was once used to manufacture shovels and rakes but was vacant when Lubeck Fire Chief Mark Stewart, along with more than 30 fire companies responded on Saturday.
"When they arrived there was 40ft. Flames in the air,” Stewart said.
Stewart said there were a few explosions inside the building during the fire, but fortunately, no one was hurt.
"To have this size of an incident and this many people involved. One…we've worked well together and two... we're just blessed that we haven't had an injury,” Stewart said.
Stewart said he only knew of a lot of plastic in the building, no other hazardous materials. With the size of the fire, Stewart said cleanup could take weeks.
"Worst case scenario… a month,” Stewart said.
The DEP, health department and EPA were on scene monitoring air and water conditions.
As a former volunteer firefighter, Garretson can’t get in on the cleanup, so he's keeping an eye on the area from the sky.
"Just get up there away from everything. I'm very curious about what caused it,” Garretson said.
Officials will meet with the insurance company Monday to discuss how to fund the removal of what’s left of the Ames Plant.