A neighbor checking his mail smelled smoke nearby this morning and soon realized that the home his neighbors were preparing to move into was on fire.
Mike Irwin, 58, of 1700 Maryland Avenue, said he detected smoke and looked around to see if he could determine its source. Maryland Avenue is close to a large structure that started burning early Thursday morning. When Irwin realized the smoke was coming from his neighbor’s home, he went across the street to the house where they were staying to alert them.
Members of the Bluefield, Bluefield, Va., Green-Valley Glenwood and Bluewell fire departments were dispatched to Maryland Avenue when they received the alarm approximately 11:30 a.m.
The home had smoke damage. The fire started in the basement, said Fire Chief Jeff Warden of the Bluefield Fire Department. A sump pump may have started the fire, but this would have to be confirmed by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal, he said.
Rhonda Rogers, 45, of Bluefield, said she was preparing to move into the house.
“I have my furniture and all my stuff in there, yes,” she said.
The Bluefield Rescue Squad was also dispatched to the scene.
Cherry Street would remain closed until debris from the fire at the intersection of Cherry Street and Stadium Drive could be cleared away, Warden said.