Firefighters investigate blaze at local market

PARKERSBURG – Investigators continue to review a 23rd Street commercial fire that occurred Tuesday morning.

Parkersburg Fire Department Capt. Tim Flinn said crews responded to Traceys Market on 23rd Street about 2:30 a.m.

Flinn said the fire was reported by Jeff McMullen, the tenant of the upstairs apartment. McMullen told investigators he smelled smoke and discovered heavy smoke coming from a window in the business below and called 911.

Firefighters arrived at the store and found it teeming with heavy smoke. Flinn said forcible entry was done due to the locked front doors after business hours. Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze, which was confined to the ground level. No one was injured and the fire was out in about 10 minutes. The business was equipped with smoke detectors.

The fire appears to have originated on the floor, near a beer cooler, Flinn said.

“The firefighters did a good job to keep the fire from penetrating to the upstairs apartment and to nearby houses,” Flinn said.

Damage was estimated at around $35,000. The upstairs apartment sustained minor smoke damage.

Flinn said the cause of the fire was undetermined and was under investigation.

“We have not ruled out if this was intentional or accidental in nature,” he stated. The fire is under investigation by the Parkersburg police and fire departments.

Traceys Market – formerly a Kompak store -is owned by Tracy Earlington of Parkersburg. She purchased the business from Gary Traugh approximately 18 months ago, Flinn said.

Flinn said anyone with information regarding the fire should contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 304-424-8522 or the Parkersburg Police Department at 304-424-8440.