Fire destroys former Paw Paw Senior Center
A fire on Election Night destroyed a two-story house that was the former location of the Paw Paw Senior Center.
The blaze spread to a home on the right of the burning house and endangered a home on the left side, but firefighters were able to contain the fire. Volunteers from 14 area fire companies responded.
The fire call came in around 9:50 p.m. on Tuesday, November 2 for 262 Winchester Street, said Paw Paw Volunteer Fire Company Chief Steve Moreland.
When they arrived on the scene, the back side of the house at 262 Winchester Street was fully involved and had extended to a room in the house at 254 Winchester Street. The room had been added on and was offset from the house. It was about four feet away from the fire, Moreland said.
Firefighters kept the fire from spreading further into the house at 254 Winchester Street and away from the home that was located on the left.
The former senior center building that caught fire had been converted into two apartments. One apartment had no one living there, Moreland said.
No one was home in the other apartment when the fire broke out. However, people were at home in the houses on either side of the burning house, he said. No residents or firefighters were injured during the blaze.
Moreland considered the former senior center building a total loss since it couldn’t be repaired. Both apartments suffered damage. Firefighters were able to save the contents, but they were smoke-damaged, he said.
The damage to the home at 254 Winchester Street was to the windows and siding of the room that caught fire, Moreland said. They saved 99% of the home and the house is livable, he said.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined. Assistant Fire Marshal Patrick Barker came to the fire site on Wednesday and is continuing his investigation, Moreland said.
Units from Paw Paw, Great Cacapon, Berkeley Springs, South Morgan, Hancock, Reynolds Store, Gainesboro, Slanesville, Levels, Springfield, Oldtown, District 16 near Cumberland, Orleans and Ridgeley Volunteer Fire Companies responded to the blaze.
The Morgan County Rescue Service and Paw Paw Rescue
Squad also responded. Moreland said he released some units around
2 a.m., but Paw Paw firefighters remained on the scene until 2:30 a.m.
Moreland said his department has been running four calls a day
for around the past month and a half.
Their fire and rescue volunteers have responded to structure fires in Slanesville and Levels, car wreck entrapments and two brush fires in Levels. They’ve been on calls to Levels four times in the past two weeks, he said.