Two rescued from duplex fire

PARKERSBURG – Two people were rescued from a burning duplex on Spring Street Sunday morning. A major fire destroyed the building, the Parkersburg Fire Department reported.

Fire crews were called out at around 11:10 a.m. Sunday to 1323-1325 Spring St., said Capt. Brian Drake of the Parkersburg Fire Department. The structure was a duplex home divided into two living spaces. One was occupied while the other wasn’t.

The structure was fully engulfed in flames in the rear half and the attic with people trapped on the roof of the three-story structure, Drake said.

“Fire crews performed a ladder rescue, rescuing one male occupant from the third-story roof and another male from the second-story roof,” he said. “The occupant rescued from the third story had some first- and second-degree burns on his upper body.”

That person was identified as Eric Hinton and he was eventually treated and released from Camden Clark Medical Center, said Capt. Tim Flinn of the Parkersburg Fire Department.

A firefighter, Mike Bartenschlag, was treated for heat exhaustion, Flinn said. Bartenschlag participated in the rescue of the male on the third floor. He was treated at the scene and was able to continue work, Flinn added.

At one point, neighbors were bringing over ladders to try and help get the people off of the roof.

The fire was caused as a result of a juvenile playing with a lighter, Flinn said.

“We ask people that if you are going to have any juveniles in your home to keep lighters and matches out of reach,” he said. “Children get curious and will play with them.”

There were three adults, three children and one 7-month-old infant in the house. All were able to get out. The home was owned by Rob Christie of Parkersburg who rented the property.

The fire department had 16 firefighters on the scene and one duty officer, along with five engines, a rescue vehicle and a ladder truck.

The department tried to do an interior attack on the fire, but the roof started collapsing so everyone had to be pulled out. The department utilized its trucks and equipment to attack the flames from outside.

At one point crews went back in to do an assessment, but again had to be pulled out when things became dangerous due to deteriorating conditions, Drake said.

Flinn said the department’s job was difficult as the home had a slate roof which was hard to get through to get to the fire and it was also keeping the heat in.

“The firefighters did an excellent job,” Flinn said.

Crews remained on scene until 3:49 p.m. Sunday to mop up hot spots.

“It was a substantial fire,” Drake said. “The structure was a complete loss.”

Early damage estimates are looking at around $70,000, he said.