CANAAN VALLEY, W.Va. — Officials declared a vacation condominium building a total loss after a Tuesday afternoon blaze that firefighters battled into the night.
Several area fire departments responded to the large structure fire, which officials said began at approximately 3:30 p.m. in building B of Talheim Village Condominiums on Cortland Road in Canaan Valley.
The building “was well-involved” upon the arrival of emergency workers, Canaan Valley Volunteer Fire Department Chief Sandy Green said at the scene.
“Because it’s so tight in here, we’re having a real hard time getting enough tankers in to offload and keep us with enough water,” he said.
Green said a young couple were in the building when the fire began, but they managed to escape without harm before firefighters arrived on the scene.
“We do have a young couple displaced,” Don McFarlan, assistant superintendent of Canaan Valley State Park, said at the scene. “Red Cross will be in contact with the couple tomorrow.”
McFarlan added the couple would spend the night at Canaan Valley Resort State Park Resort lodge.
“The young couple got out with just the clothes they had on their backs,” he said. “They’re going to be taken care of tonight and the Red Cross is on the way.”
McFarlan said the building includes six units, all of which are vacation rentals.
At approximately 7 p.m. Green said firefighters had entered a “defensive mode,” meaning they were no longer aggressively attempting to save the burning structure and were concentrating their efforts to protect other nearby buildings. Talheim Village Condominiums includes three additional condominium structures.
“We’re just trying to protect the exposures of other buildings that are adjacent to that to keep them from catching at this point,” he said. “The wind appears to have dropped, but it’s a big building and a big, hot fire and we can’t get it under control just yet.”
The Parsons, Thomas, Davis, Canaan Valley, Harman and Mt. Storm volunteer fire departments, along with the Bayard Fire Department and Gorman Volunteer Fire Department from Maryland, responded to the scene. The Tucker County Sheriff’s Department and West Virginia State Police provided traffic support and Tucker County EMS were also hand. Personnel and apparatus from Grant, Randolph, Pendleton and Pocahontas counties and Garrett County, Md., also assisted at the scene.
– Beth Christian Broschart contributed reporting to this article.