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Massive fire at old high school investigated as arson

Published: Mar. 13, 2022 at 7:12 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Update 3/14/2022

The fire at the old high school in Montgomery Sunday had every department in the area respond. Four ladder trucks were involved and hours of water and work to put the flames out.

Montgomery Mayor Greg Ingram said this fire did not start on accident.

The smoke could be seen for miles, but Megan Foy lives right next door.

“I came out and saw the roof smoking, and the fire went up very, very quickly,” said Foy.

Foy watched the combined effort of all the fire departments to put out the massive flames and billowing black smoke just as the roof collapsed Sunday.

“As long as I remembered it, it was a library and city hall, and I have vague memories of it being a police station there,” said Foy.

Mayor Ingram said this could be a case of arson.

“This fire was not a small, stay warm fire. This fire was to destroy the building, and that is what they did,” said Ingram.

The building closed a few decades ago and it has gone into disrepair.

“It is absolutely suspicious the vagrants that live in this building have been living in the basement, and we run them out on a daily basis. This fire started on the third floor and it was totally engulfed immediately,” said Ingram.

People who have always called Montgomery home said even though it is just a building, there is an emotional connection with the old place.

“My step father attended junior high here. My best friend’s mom went to grade school here,” said Foy. “I have grown up here. I have watched a lot of buildings come down, but there was something about this one that just really made me sad.”

Both residents and Ingram have high remarks for the teamwork and effort putting out the fire with lots of people who live nearby.

The fire is being investigated by the W.Va. State Fire Marshal’s office and Ingram said the building will be demolished in the coming days.

Original story 3/13/2022

Crews are on the scene of a fire in Fayette County, West Virginia.

The building formerly served as a school for the Montgomery community.

Emergency services responded to the scene.

There’s no word on injuries.

This is a developing story.

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