CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An electrical fire in an FAA equipment room at Yeager Airport in Charleston Thursday afternoon forced those inside the terminal to evacuate.

The fire was reported at about 2:30 p.m. and the all clear given by the Air National Guard firefighter crew and Charleston firefighters in less than a half hour.

The FAA described the incident as a “small electrical fire in an equipment room adjacent to the room where radar controllers handle flights.” The fire was extinguished by the tower manager. There were no injuries.

Communication with flights was turned over to the FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center in Indianapolis during the evacuation. One flight departed from Yeager during the 20-minute period. Yeager FAA controllers had retaken control by 3:00 p.m.

The FAA is investigating the fire.

Yeager Director of Marketing Brian Belcher said Yeager’s emergency evacuation plan was well executed.

“Anybody that’s going to be working in the airport has to have that training and seems like it worked smooth and everyone got out,” he said.

Belcher said one part of the plan includes employees who are designated as fire captains to escort passengers, who have already been cleared for security out of the terminal.

“They have posts out there where they can take them to and get them away from the terminal,” Belcher said.

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  • DWL

    Runway vultures to the rescue. Good job! I’m surprised the controllers were awake and not taking their union required nap time, to notice the smoke.

    • Marion

      NAP TIME ?!! Wow! I'll see if I can get that in our contract in our next negotiations !