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Fires raise suspicions

By Staff | May 13, 2009

FIRE IN THE HOLE — The homes fires were still smoldering the day after the fire at this home on Pike Street in Sistersville was put out by the local volunteer fire department. Officials say they are waiting to hear back from the state fire marshall, as arson is suspected in a string of fires in that area.

A string of fires on Pike Street in Sistersville are still under investigation, but the suspicion of arson is very high.

The first incident was a brush fire that took place along what is known as Old Route 18 on March 18 at 6:45 p.m. The Sistersville Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call and put the fire out

A month later, on April 17, the Sistersville VFD responded to a structure fire on Pike Street at 10:06 p.m. The structure was abandoned and the fire department worked to keep the fire from spreading to the structure next door.

Despite saving the neighboring abandoned home, on May 6 that home was set ablaze. Sistersville VFD received the call at 9:34 p.m., bringing two trucks and nine men to put out the fire. Paden City VFD responded with two trucks and nine men and the fire was put out nearly three hours later at 1:30 a.m.

Sistersville VFD Assistant Chief Jason Wayne was in charge of putting out the most recent fire.

“When we got there the backside of the house was pretty well up in flames,” explained Wayne. “It did collapse on us on that side. As far as a cause or anything like that, it’s still under investigation.”

The destroyed home was still smoldering the next day, May 7, bring the fire department back to spray more water on the remains.

“We had a few calls yesterday to go up and put it out,” said Wayne. “At 20 minutes to 8 a.m. we were called out and they went back up later in the day.”

The fire investigation is still ongoing, pending a visit from the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s office. Sistersville VFD Chief Steve Leasure says he wouldn’t be surprised to find all three fires linked.

“I hope to get the fire marshal over because I plan to, if nothing else, press charges if they don’t have anyone to press charges,” said Leasure. “They’re stretched kind of thin because they run them all over the state. I’m still waiting on his input on it. Things looked a little suspicious there.”

If anyone has information on the fires on Pike St., call the Sistersville VFD at 304-652-7131.