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Fire damages A.J. Hays building in Fairmont

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — A structure fire in downtown Fairmont collapsed the inside of the A.J. Hays building Sunday afternoon.

According to the Marion County 911 log, emergency responders were dispatched around 2:30 p.m. to Cleveland Avenue for a structure fire.

Captain Harbert with the Fairmont Fire Department confirmed that no humans were injured in the fire. However, two dogs were pulled out of an adjacent building that contained an apartment.

“We did have one animal pass away,” Harbert said.

The fire began in the A.J. Hays building, which is a huge commercial building, he said. Harbert is still unable to pinpoint where in the building the fire started.

Crews were able to avoid major damage to adjacent buildings.

“The buildings adjacent on either side are still livable,” Harbert said. “They received a little bit of smoke damage and some water damage.”

Units from the Fairmont Fire Department, Barrackville Volunteer Fire Department and Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire.

“We had mutual aid with Pleasant Valley and Barrackville, and we had 36 city firefighters on scene,” Harbert said.

Harbert said that his crews were just returning to the station at around 11 p.m. after getting the fire under control around 8 p.m. Sunday.

Hanna Weaver, program manager for marketing and communications for the city of Fairmont, said crews worked hard to contain the fire to the Hays building.

Roadways including Cleveland Avenue, Monroe Street and Adams Street remained closed for most of the afternoon into the evening. According to the Marion County 911 log, roadways were reopened around 7:44 p.m.

The building’s residents were notified and Mon Power arrived on scene to shut off the power to the block.

Email Kelsie VanderWijst at [email protected].

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