Latest News

House fire on Listravia Ave sparks brush fire; Power on Earl L. Core Road mostly restored

A vacant house on Listravia Avenue burned down early Monday morning, knocking out power to thousands and starting a brush fire.

Morgantown firefighters were called to the fire at 2005 Listravia Ave., about 7:30 a.m.

Firefighters arrived to find the house “heavily involved in fire” with flames coming from the roof, Morgantown Fire Chief Mark Caravasos said. The fire spread quickly and firefighters were hampered by arcing power lines in front of the structure, forcing them to stay back until Mon Power was able to cut the power.

The fire also started a brush fire further up the hill towards Trinity Christian School, which required volunteer fire departments be called in.

“Everybody we could we got out here,” Caravasos said.

About 10:30 a.m., volunteer firefighters told The Dominion Post the brush fire was contained.

Brookhaven Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Zach Lipscomb said the brush fire was in a big thicket with a bunch of dead trees and deadfall — dead, dried underbrush. The wind made things more difficult because embers kept shooting to the sides, “setting fires everywhere.”

Westover, Triune Halleck, Clinton District, Granville and Star City volunteer fire departments, the Mon County Fire Association, the Mon County Brushfire Team and Mon EMS also responded.

“This was a big deal this morning,” Caravasos said.

Jackie Colebank, who lives next door, said she’s seen people she assumes are homeless and drug addicts going in and out of the house. Colebank, her daughter and their dogs were unharmed but her home suffered water and smoke damage.

Several vehicles and an Airstream trailer parked in front of the house were also damaged.

MFD was not able to search the house and Caravasos said it was unclear if anyone was inside at the time of the fire.

About 2,300 customers lost power because of the fire, according to a Mon Power representative. As of 11:45 a.m., all but 37 customers had power, which the company expected to restore by 6 p.m.

Caravasos used his authority under the building code to have the structure razed Monday because it was a danger, he said. No one were found when the structure was cleaned up.

Morgantown Fire marshals are investigating the fire.

This fire is the latest of many with suspected homeless and drug activity since February.

Six days ago, a vacant house on Richwood Avenue caught fire. The MFD announced it found signs of “unauthorized inhabitants.”

On Oct. 29, an abandoned building that used to house Wild Zero Studios on Pleasant Street caught fire. Caravasos said there appeared to be signs of drug use, forced entry and somebody being on the property.

In August, two abandoned and condemned homes on Fallin Run Road were destroyed in fires. One of those houses had signs of drug activity.

In June, an abandoned home on Beechurst Avenue was destroyed by fire.

In March, a vacant building owned by the Morgantown Utility Board on Don Knotts Boulevard caught fire and investigators found signs people had been living there.

In February, a condemned house on Brockway Avenue caught fire, and it was believed there were people in it at the time the fire started.

That fire was within feet of the site of a January 2019 fire in an abandoned building on Overdale Street, which is still only half demolished.

A fire also destroyed an abandoned home on Forest Avenue in July 2019.