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Site of fire in Downtown Fairmont rekindles Monday

Fire department controls situation in less than an hour

By Michelle Dillon

Fairmont Fire
The Sunday afternoon fire that caused the inside of the A.J. Hays building to collapse in downtown Fairmont rekindled Monday. The building has been ruled a total loss. PHOTO BY MICHELLE DILLON

Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The structure fire that caused the inside of the A.J. Hays building in downtown Fairmont to collapse Sunday rekindled Monday morning.

There was a small rekindle of the structure fire in the A.J. Hays building at 7:09 a.m., according to the Marion County 911 Center. The Fairmont Fire Department had the incident under control by 7:47 a.m.

Emergency responders were dispatched to Cleveland Avenue for the structure fire around 2:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the Marion County 911 log.

Sunday’s fire at the A.J. Hays building has been ruled accidental, according to a City of Fairmont press release issuedMonday.

“The fire was electrical in nature and started on the first floor of the building on the Cleveland Avenue side,” the press release stated.

Three structures were directly involved with the fire, and other buildings on the block had smoke infiltration, according to the press release. The A.J. Hays building has been ruled a total loss. The other two buildings have smoke damage.

“This was the biggest potential for a large loss that we have had in many years,” Fairmont Fire Chief Ed Simmons said in the press release.

“There was no human life lost or injury with this fire, and it could have been a lot worse,” Simmons said. “I personally want to say thank you to all of our firefighters and city employees that assisted, and also those from other agencies as well.” 

The Fairmont Fire Department, Fairmont Police Department, Barrackville Volunteer Fire Department, Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Marion County Rescue Squad, Marion County 911 Center and Marion County Police Reserves helped with the fire. The Fairmont departments of Public Works, Water, Communications, Building Inspection and Code Enforcement assisted as well. Several businesses and local residents also provided ancillary support, according to the press release. 

Monroe Street is expected to be reopened by Wednesday morning, but Cleveland Avenue from Adams Street to Everest Drive will remain closed until further notice, according to the press release. 

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