Origin of West Virginia Building Fire Found, Cause Undetermined

February 2, 2012

State investigators have found the origin of a fire that destroyed a historic building in downtown Welch, W.Va.

Assistant state fire marshal Scott Rhodes tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the fire began on the third floor of the five-story Libby Building. The cause of the Jan. 24 fire remains undetermined.

A contractor hired by the city demolished the building after part of the structure collapsed. An adjacent building damaged by the collapse also has been torn down.

The Libby Building was built in the early 1920s. It housed 13 apartments, a bar and a vacant storehouse.

Welch Mayor Reba Honaker says some of the building’s original ornate fixtures were salvaged. She says city officials hope to preserve the fixtures and display them at a planned museum.

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