PARKERSBURG - A 26th Street house sustained extensive damage in a fire on Wednesday afternoon.
A crowd gathered on the narrow Parkersburg side street to watch the firefighters work on the white house. Water ran down the sides of the street like narrow rivers, moving quickly enough to avoid freezing despite the snow on the ground around it.
All of the upstairs windows were broken out of the residence by firefighters to vent the smoke. A window air conditioning unit lay on the roof of the porch it was once mounted over.
Photo courtesy of Parkersburg Fire Department Chief Eric Taylor
A fire heavily damaged a 26th Street house in Parkersburg Wednesday afternoon.
The house at 918 26th St. is owned by Dave Fletcher and rented by Heather and Jeremy Davis.
The Davis family was not home at the time of the fire, said Parkersburg Fire Department Chief Eric Taylor. The structure still stands, but the damage is too extensive for the family to resume living there, Taylor said.
The damage is estimated at $30,000 for belongings lost and $50,000 to the structure, Taylor said.
The family dog, a boxer named Harley, was killed during the fire, said Heather Davis.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Taylor said.
At 1 p.m., a neighbor called authorities after noticing smoke coming out the two-story house's windows, Taylor said. The fire department sent multiple trucks to combat the blaze, many of which were still blocking the street half an hour later.
The fire was contained by 1:10 p.m., Taylor said.
The fire originated on the first floor in the living room area, Taylor said. There is significant smoke damage to the second floor of the home, Taylor said.
"We were able to go in through the front door and make an internal attack on the fire," said Taylor.
The smell of melted plastic and smoke hung heavy in the air, while Davis stood on the front porch staring at what remained of her rental home.
Tangled fire hoses led from a nearby fire engine, along the narrow cement sidewalk, up the three steps and into the front door of the residence.
Davis stared into the blackened foyer of her home, crying as she viewed the damage. Speaking of Harley the boxer's death brought renewed sobs as she explained the family's love for the animal.
Davis and her three daughters, ages 16, 14 and 4, were out having their Christmas pictures taken when the fire began, Davis said. Davis declined to provide her daughters' names.
The three children were not present at the scene for long, Taylor said.
"I might be able to rescue some of our pictures," Davis said, "But my girls lost everything. I just don't know how it happened."
The Davis family is turning to relatives for shelter overnight, Taylor said.