PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The Parkersburg Fire Department responded to a vacant house fire in the 800 block of 16th Street in Parkersburg just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Upon their arrival, the department found a fire in the back part of the home. After an initial sweep, firefighters discovered a “squatter,” staying on the second floor of the home. He was removed from the second floor using a window and a ladder. He was then taken to the hospital for treatment.
“It appeared when he left, just a little bit of smoke inhalation. He said he was upstairs sleeping at the time, when the fire occurred,” said Fire Chief Jason Matthews.
Firefighters thought the squatter had a partner in the building, but they were unable to locate that person.
The fire burned into the walls and made it to the second floor of the structure, but was successfully put out.
Matthews says this is not the first time in recent history the department has responded to a fire at this particular structure.
“I believe it was in December, we had another fire in the rear of the structure on the first floor. About a month and a half ago we had a fire in the garage where we had some people staying there at that time also,” said Matthews.
Chief says he believes Parkersburg Code Enforcement is looking into having the structure torn down.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. A detective with the Parkersburg Police is assisting in that investigation.