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UPDATE: West Virginia museum enlisting help from native son

Point Pleasant River Museum on Fire
Point Pleasant River Museum on Fire(WSAZ)
Published: Jul. 1, 2018 at 2:49 PM EDT
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UPDATE 8/19/18 @ 7:44 p.m.

The Point Pleasant River Museum says they’ve enlisted the help of Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. as they work to rebuild after a fire tore through earlier this summer.

The Museum says Murphy, Jr. will be holding a fundraising concert on his Home for the Holidays Tour this coming December. The West Virginia native won 'America's Got Talent' in 2011.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Pt. Pleasant High School on Thursday, December 20th.

The Museum says proceeds from the ticket sales will help with their efforts to rebuild.

Call 1-304-674-0144 to purchase tickets and for more information.

The Museum was heavily damaged in early July after an electrical fire sparked in the attic, sending flames shooting out through the top half of the building. Museum Director Jack Fowler believes they can rebuild in the same spot.


UPDATE 7/29/18 @ 3:24 p.m.

Officials say they will likely rebuild after a fire heavily damaged the Point Pleasant River Museum in West Virginia.

Museum Director Jack Fowler told The Gazette-Mail that he's "very confident" that the museum will be back, though he said the building still need to be checked to make sure its sound. He said he thinks it will be possible to rebuild in the same spot. The museum opened in 2003 and focuses on river life and commercial enterprise on the Ohio and Kanawha rivers.

No one was injured in the July 1 fire and Fowler said the blaze is believed to have been caused by an electrical issue in the attic. He said many exhibits have been or can be salvaged.

Fowler said museum officials will soon begin working on a plan to rebuild.


UPDATE 7/2/18 @ 6:05 p.m.

Community members in Point Pleasant came together after a fire at the Point Pleasant River Museum Sunday afternoon.

"The firefighters were still fighting the blaze. Water was coming through from where they were spraying the roof, and the folks were coming in the door and taking things off the walls," said Executive Director Jack Fowler.

Point Pleasant Fire Chief J.R. Spencer said there were 50 to 75 community members at the museum while firefighters were battling the flames.

Several firefighters were treated for heat-related injuries while on the scene of the fire. Some also had minor burns from falling debris. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion.

Investigators said the fire started in the attic of the building.

Community members and museum workers were able to save nearly 60 percent of the historic items in the museum.

"It's sad, it's a big setback. You get quite an attachment to the exhibit and the families they represent," Fowler said.

Fowler said they plan to rebuild the museum if the building structure is approved and in sustainable condition.


UPDATE 7/2/18 @ 10:45 a.m.

Investigators have released more information about the damage to the Point Pleasant River Museum after a fire.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating. The fire happened Sunday afternoon.

Marshals have not ruled on the cause, but suspect it was accidental.

Investigators say the fire burned the roof off. There is also significant smoke and water damage.

The deputy fire marshal says the museum is not a total loss, but the damage may be in the millions. There is no official estimate yet.

Dispatchers say multiple fire departments responded.

No injuries were reported.

UPDATE 7/1/18 @ 10:25 p.m.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal is investigating a fire at the Point Pleasant River Museum.

It was reported around 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Dispatchers say multiple fire departments responded.

No injuries were reported.

There's no word on what caused the fire, but fire officials believe it started in the attic.

Keep checking with WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.


ORIGINAL STORY 7/1/18 @ 2:53 p.m.

Dispatchers have confirmed there is a fire at the Point Pleasant River Museum.

Point Pleasant and Gallipolis Fire Departments are responding.

No injuries have been reported.

We are sending a crew to the scene now.

Keep checking with WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.