Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 30, 2013

Quick stop on pub blaze

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Firefighters made a rapid response Sunday evening to a report of smoke at Leo’s Pub on Route 20 at Melrose Square and made a quick stop on a fire at the popular nightclub. The club was not open at the time the fire was reported.

The Princeton Fire Department, East River Volunteer Fire Department, Athens Volunteer Fire Department, Princeton Rescue Squad and the West Virginia State Police responded to the fire that was initially reported at about 5:20 p.m.

“The Princeton Fire Department was the first on the scene,” Lt. Aaron Beeman of the East River Volunteer Fire Department said. “We were in the station securing the hook and ladder truck, when we received the call, so we arrived pretty quickly too.”

Firefighters forced entry through the front, back and side doors to attack the fire from inside, while additional firefighters used ladders to climb up to the roof and attack the fire from that direction. Firefighters used a saw to open the roof and battle the blaze.

“We haven’t even started the investigation of the fire yet, so at this point, I can’t say what the cause of the fire was,” Beeman said. “At this point, I also don’t know what the extent of the damage is.

“I know that the three departments all got here fast and made an aggressive stop to prevent the fire from getting any bigger than it was,” Beeman said.

East River deployed its ladder truck to assist the firefighters who were on the roof of the structure. At approximately 6:45 a.m., East River was able to secure the ladder truck so Route 20 could be reopened. The owners of the building arrived on scene to secure the business, and the firefighters returned to the station at about 7:30 p.m.

— Contact Bill Archer at