Virginia

The demolition process continues after the Charleston, West Virginia apartment fire

UPDATE (11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25): The Kanawha County Assessor’s website states that the owners are listed as WV 2020 Holding LLC. They say it’s from Jacksonville, Florida.

The county has valued the building at $1.2 million.


UPDATE (7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25): A backhoe was brought in and the Regal Apartments building on the 1400 block of Kanawha Blvd. E will be demolished after a fire destroyed the building this afternoon.

Hodges says this decision to start demolishing the building is very rare, but in this scenario it was the best choice to bring the fire under control.

“So we have been dealing with this event for over four hours, and due to the construction of the building and the rapid spread of the fire, it immediately entered the roofline and the multiple layers of tar,” said Captain David Hodges of the Charleston Fire Department. “Due to some instabilities in the structure, we weren’t able to gain good access. After all the occupants were captured, we went on a defense operation and erred on the side of safety for our firefighters. So after several hours we made the decision that it will be easier for us to start demonstrating the roofline to get the fire under control.”

The cause of the fire is still unknown at this time, but all residents are safe. The fire has also not spread to any other building in the East End.

Officials say 35 of the building’s 37 apartments were occupied and all residents were recorded. According to local officials, the Red Cross has set out to help residents of the building at the Living Word Christian Center at 1418 Kanawha Blvd E.

“I slept and woke up to the fire brigade at my door shouting, ‘Get out, get out. There’s a fire in the building,'” said resident Lynell Ellerbe.

“No one called me and told me the place was on fire. No manager, no maintenance, nothing,” said resident Martin Peterson. “It was a shame to come home to another fire. I had one in Dunbar two years ago and it’s a shame to have to go through it all again.”

Peterson tells WOWK 13 News that his dog was also rescued from the fire.

According to the fire department, the cause of the fire is being investigated extensively.


UPDATE (6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25): Crews are still at the scene battling a massive fire at the Regal Apartments building in Charleston. Charleston Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin says the building is a “total loss” and the roof is collapsing.

According to local officials, the Red Cross has set out to help residents of the building at the Living Word Christian Center at 1418 Kanawha Blvd E.

“They’ve searched every nook and cranny, but this is a really difficult situation,” Mayor Goodwin said. “Obviously, you can tell by the structure itself and the damage done to the building. The roof is collapsing, its structure is not intact, so we have a lot of people who won’t be home for a while.”

The Charleston Fire Department says all residents who lived in the building were accounted for, but the mayor says the building must be demolished.

“Most of them, like this whole community, are happy to be out and safe because this fire was obviously devastating. The building is a total loss and must be demolished,” Mayor Goodwin said. “They’re grateful to be out, but they’re scared.”


UPDATE (Wednesday, Jan. 25 4:22 p.m.): The Charleston Fire Department says all residents of the apartment building have been caught and no firefighters were injured.

They say they are currently on a defensive attack and are dealing with a partial roof collapse.

No injuries were reported.

13 News will continue to update this story.


UPDATE (3:47 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25): Kanawha County 911 says Kanawha Blvd. is due to this fire between Ruffner Ave. and Bradford St. closed.


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Crews respond to a fire at an apartment building in Charleston.

Smoke can be seen from the top floor of the Regal Apartment building at Block 1400 of Kanawha Blvd.

Kanawha County 911 says this is a working fire.

Nothing is known about injuries and the extent of the damage.

13 News has a team on site and we will provide updates as new information becomes available.

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