ROCK CREEK – A fire at the former Hobet Mine preparation plant was controlled quickly thanks to the contributions and response of multiple agencies, led by the Danville Volunteer Fire Department.
The blaze was first reported at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and contained around 7 p.m.
According to Boone County Emergency Management Agency/911 Director Michael Mahorn, the blaze started with a spark.
“From what we gathered there is a company that is tearing the building down,” Mahorn said via text message. “They were using a torch and think a spark flew and ignited the building.”
The scope of first responding fire departments was vast to combine efforts to control the blaze which included rural water movement methods while deploying ladder trucks and tankers to the scene.
"What we understand, they were trying to cut some support beams and the sparks caught some insulation and that is how it started we are told," said Danville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Justin Chafin."The challenge was there isn't a lot of water out there so had to call in several tankers. It was a joint effort from multiple agencies. We are fortunate because of the coal dust in the air. We could have easily been there for two days. It worked out well."
Fire Departments at the scene included; Danville, Madison, Morrisvale, Racine, Spruce River, Van, Wharton, Whitesville, Chapmanville, Sharples, Lake, Marmet, Chesapeake, West Side, Mud River, Henlawson, Alum Creek and Jefferson.
The Boone County Ambulance Authority was at the scene while the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and West Virginia State Police directed traffic which was complicated by drivers pulling off on the shoulder near the entrance.
Before exiting the scene, firefighters checked for hotspots and the scene was cleared. The details related to the cause of the fire is considered to still be under investigation.
Chafin added that food was sent to the scene by Chick-Fil-A, Breedloves Wrecker Service brought drinks and Gino's Pizza of Danville brought pizza for first responders.
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-307-2401.