WESTOVER, W.Va. — Five people were injured in a Friday morning fire in Monongalia County. The blaze destroyed a12-unit apartment building on Nebraska Avenue in Westover.
Fire officials say three adults and a six-year-old child were taken to two Pittsburgh hospitals with serious injuries. A three-year-old child, believed to be a sibling, was being treated at a Morgantown hospital. Two of the injured adults are believed to be the children’s grandparents.
Assistant State Fire Marshal Mackey Ayersman says the fire began before dawn in a lower apartment where an individual was cooking. One report said it was a grease fire. It quickly spread to the other 11 apartments in the three-story building. Four of those injured, including the two children, were in the apartment just above where the fire began.
Officials say as many as 48 people could have been living in the building. Westover Fire Department Lt. Brad Wilson said by mid afternoon they believed they had accounted for everyone.
Wilson says it was a difficult fire to fight because it spread quickly and firemen had access to only one hydrant, which was a couple blocks away. Firemen also had trouble reaching the apartment because the street was icy.
Firemen remained on the scene throughout the day, watering down hotspots as smoke continued to billow from the debris.
A Red Cross Relief Center has being set up for those who have been left without a home.