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UPDATE: Arrest made following fire on 17th Street in Parkersburg

Published: Jan. 26, 2021 at 4:29 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 4:01 PM EST
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UPDATE: 1/27/21 4:30 P.M.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Russell William Erb, 26, of Parkersburg, was arrested for starting a fire inside a vacant house.

The investigation began on January 26, when a house fire on 17th Street was reported to 911. Uniformed officers located a subject close to the scene of the fire and quickly determined this same person was captured on video entering the vacant structure prior to the fire being set. The subject was identified as Erb, who was later questioned by fire investigators and detectives.

Erb was arrested and charged with Second Degree Arson and Breaking and Entering. Additional charges are pending. Erb is currently at the North Central Regional Jail with bond set at $102,000.

Those with information information about this fire or others are encouraged to contact the Police Department at (304) 424-8444 or visit pkbpolice.com and submit an anonymous tip.

UPDATE: 1/27/21 3:45 P.M.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Police have made an arrest connected to a fire at a vacant Parkersburg apartment building on Tuesday.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin confirmed the arrest Wednesday afternoon, but no details about the suspect or the charges or was immediately available.

The fire at the building in the 2000 block of 17th Street broke out about about 4:30 p.m.

It was the second fire at the building since December and the second fire in a vacant building in the city on Tuesday.

Firefighters were also called to fight a fire in a vacant cinder-block garage about 2 a.m.

There were on injuries in either fire, authorities said.

have made an arrest For the second time in less than 24 hours, Parkersburg firefighters were called Tuesday afternoon to battle flames in a vacant building.

The fire about 4:30 p.m. heavily damaged an abandoned apartment building in the 2000 block of 17th Street, but there were not injuries.

Fire Chief Jason Matthews said the building also caught fire in December. At that time, he said firefighters tore holes through ceilings, and on Tuesday, he said the spread through those holes, making it more difficult to put out the blaze.

Earlier Tuesday, firefighters were called about 2 a.m. to a fire in a vacant cinder-block garage on the 800 block of Virginia Avenue.

No one was in the building, but Matthews said there was evidence that people had been sleeping in garage.

Parkersburg firefighters responded to more than 30 fires in vacant building in 2020.

You can click here to read our coverage of that fire.

UPDATE: 1/27/21 1:30 P.M.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - For the second time in less than 24 hours, Parkersburg firefighters were called Tuesday afternoon to battle flames in a vacant building.

The fire about 4:30 p.m. heavily damaged an abandoned apartment building in the 2000 block of 17th Street, but there were not injuries.

Fire Chief Jason Matthews said the building also caught fire in December. At that time, he said firefighters tore holes through ceilings, and on Tuesday, he said the spread through those holes, making it more difficult to put out the blaze.

Earlier Tuesday, firefighters were called about 2 a.m. to a fire in a vacant cinder-block garage on the 800 block of Virginia Avenue.

No one was in the building, but Matthews said there was evidence that people had been sleeping in garage.

Parkersburg firefighters responded to more than 30 fires in vacant building in 2020.

You can click here to read our coverage of that fire.

UPDATE: 1/26/21 6 P.M.

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Parkersburg firefighters and police arrived on the scene of a fire on 17th street late Tuesday afternoon.

This isn’t the first time this abandoned apartment building’s burned. Fire Chief Jason Matthews said, back in early December, the building caught fire. In the firefighters’ efforts to stop the previous fire, they tore holes through ceilings and walls to put all flames out. However, Matthews said today’s fire went straight through those holes, spreading further.

No injuries were reported.

ORIGINAL STORY: 1/26/21

Firefighters are at the scene of a fire in the 2000 block of 17th Street near Parkersburg City Park.

According to Wood County 911, the Parkersburg Fire Department, Parkersburg Police and an ambulance from St. Joseph’s Ambulance Service are at the scene.

No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

WTAP has a reporter on the scene and will continue to provide updates as additional information becomes available.

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