Fire damages vacant building on 7th Street in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 10/25/18 11:15 A.M.

Fire forced several homeless people out of a vacant building in Parkersburg early Thursday morning, authorities said.

Parkersburg Fire Chief Jason Matthews said several people were leaving the building at 671 7th St., when firefighters arrived shortly after 2 a.m. Smoke was also coming from the upper two floors of the three-story brick building, he said.

No one was injured in the fire, which Matthews said appears to have been accidental. Firefighters found evidence that several people had been staying in the building to keep warm, he said.

The building, owned by Derrick Properties based in Charleston, has been empty for several years and all of the utilities had been turned off, Matthews said.

The Wood County 911 Center tells us the call came in at 2 a.m. of a structure fire in progress.

Crews determined the building is abandoned, due to the fact that there are no active utilities hooked up to the structure.

The fire was extinguished by about 2:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.