Vehicle catches fire on Blennerhassett Island

PARKERSBURG – Firefighters fought a vehicle blaze on Blennerhassett Island for more than an hour Thursday evening.

Blennerhassett Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Tim Robinson said the initial concern to fire crews was the close proximity of the truck to the Blennerhassett Mansion.

The vehicle belonged to a park employee who was able to use a farm tractor to move the vehicle farther away from the mansion once crews had the fire contained, Robinson said. The name of the employee was not immediately known Thursday night, officials said.

Responders arrived from the Parkersburg Fire Department, Washington Bottom Volunteer Fire Department, Belpre Volunteer Fire Department and Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department. The fire was reported around 5:30 p.m. and the fire wasn’t out until about 6:30 p.m., Robinson said.

“We had to use so many resources to aid in transport and use of the boats and things like that since it’s the off-season and the island’s ferry is currently out of service,” Robinson said. Crews used fire extinguishers to fight the fire.

“Pumps and hoses were ready to be put into service if we did need them,” Robinson said.

Blennerhassett VFD requested Parkersburg firefighters for backup assistance, said Parkersburg Fire Department Capt. Mark Kunselman. The truck, which belonged to a Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park employee, was engulfed in flames when fire departments arrived, he said.

Kunselman said the truck was within 15 feet of the island mansion, which did not sustain damages.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Blennerhassett Volunteer Fire Department but is believed to have resulted from a mechanical issue with the vehicle, officials said.

Park employees were on the island at the time of the fire, Kunselman said.

The truck was a total loss.