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Firefighters discuss water pressure challenges; Pizza Hut owners plan to rebuild

Published: Feb. 19, 2022 at 11:24 PM EST
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DANVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - If there is one place in Danville, W.Va. Harry Baskins loved to sit and eat, it was Pizza Hut.

“Dude I came here probably three times a week,” said Baskins. “The pan it was my favorite I don’t mess with the hand tossed or the thin and crispy the pan pizza.”

But Friday night just before 7 p.m. things took a turn for the worse. Flames were seen shoiting out of the building.

Danville Fire Chief Justin Chafin said the fire alarm did not go off but an employee smelled smoke, walked outside and saw flames, and got about 25 people out of the building.

Minutes after crews arrived, Chief Chafin said they got water on the flames but firefighters ran into an issue that stalled their efforts.

“Very low pressure very low lines have not been updated since they have been put in the 1930s,” said Chafin. “Does not allow us to get much head on how much water pressure we need to fight the fire with today’s construction.”

The fire continued to spread throughout the roof due to layers of remodeling construction. Danville firefighters called almost every fire department in Boone County to help get water.

Then the roof collapsed.

Firefighters continued team efforts to contain the fire and put it out.

Once they were able to get inside the building, firefighters said they peeled back the layers of wallpaper they remember seeing growing up in their many visits to that location.

Chris Bachelor is the regional Vice President of the franchise’s operating company, Tasty hut.

He said the company already has plans to rebuild starting later this year.

“This Pizza Hut has been in the community for a long long time,” he said. “First date,s kids grow up have their birthday parties so it’s gonna be a big loss to the community,” said Bachelor. “We are just part of the community here it is devastating yes but we will be back.”

In the meantime, employees at the Pizza Hut are able to work at the nearest locations in Chapmanville and Logan.

Baskins said it just won’t be the same.

“It was just a local business,” he said. “Here it is tough to have a business in Boone County, so it was important. “You don’t want to lose any of them.”

Danville firefighters said the fire started in the back of the building.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal has been called out to investigate.

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