Two fires in vacant structures being probed; a third breaks out accidentally

February 21, 2019
A house in the 1600 block of Madison Avenue in West Huntington that was raided Monday caught fire overnight Tuesday.

HUNTINGTON — Two fires that broke out in vacant structures overnight, including one where Huntington Police executed drug-related search warrants Monday, are being investigated as suspicious, according to Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader.

The first fire was reported to Cabell County 911 at about 11:25 p.m. Tuesday in the 1600 block of Madison Avenue. That house was raided by members of the Huntington Police Department Special Investigations Bureau about 5 p.m. Monday and six people were arrested on drug-related charges.

The Huntington Fire Department responded to the scene Monday to shut off the gas and ventilate the house after HPD reported a strong smell of natural gas coming from an upstairs bedroom. Rader said the house was boarded up and most of the utilities had been turned off when it caught fire Tuesday night.

A fire was reported in a second vacant house just before 2 a.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of West 7th Avenue. Rader said there were no utilities connected in the house and no one was inside.

That fire spread to a neighboring house and the occupants were able to exit safely. The house rekindled around 8 a.m. Wednesday and was put out.

HFD responded to another fire around 1 a.m. Wednesday in the 1500 block of 18th Street that was deemed accidental.

The occupants of the house were saved by a working fire alarm system and a smoke alarm. The fire was believed to have been caused by a faulty heating unit.