Flames appeared to be under control in The Old Bank Building following hours of work and thousands of gallons of water, but the wind picked up, and the fire continues to burn in the northern end of the building, which faces Third Avenue.
Firefighters from every department in Pocahontas County and some surrounding counties converged on Main Street in Marlinton early Sunday morning to battle a major fire.
The alarm was sounded about 3:30 a.m.
Hudson’s Variety Store and the Dirt Bean Halé coffee shop have been completely gutted by the fire, with flames continuing to erupt periodically from the rear of the variety store.
Despite firefighters’ efforts, the upper floors of The Old Bank Building on the corner of Main Street and Third Avenue were engulfed. At 8:30 a.m., flames and heavy smoke were pouring out of the roof and windows of the building, and one brick wall of the third story has fallen onto the Dirt Bean building.
Additional fire tanker trucks were dispatched from Greenbrier County around 9 a.m. to assist hose already on-scene.
Law enforcement officials cleared all non-emergency persons from the immediate area in anticipation of further collapse of the building.
One firefighter has been taken to Pocahontas Memorial Hospital.
Fire squads from White Sulphur Springs, Frankford, Renick, Richwood and Cowen responded to assist county departments.
Marlinton has seen its share of disasters – from floods to fire.
In the early morning hours of January 2, 1968, a fire destroyed half of the same city block. That loss included the Alpine Hotel, Kelly’s Restaurant, a dress shop and the town’s only movie theatre.
And again, this morning, the community has come together to offer support to the emergency crews by providing food, water and Gatorade.
Emergency Management has issued a boil water advisory, effective immediatel
Photos courtesy of Sue Helton and Barbara Lay.