Fire continues to smolder in former tool plant

October 24, 2017 GMT

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Public schools were closed Monday in a West Virginia county where a fire in an old warehouse continued to smolder, causing Gov. Jim Justice to declare a state of emergency in the county.

Rain was forecast Monday in Parkersburg, where the former Ames tool plant caught fire Saturday.

The weather forecast and concerns over smoke prompted officials to call off classes in Wood County. West Virginia University at Parkersburg also closed its main campus Monday.

Monday afternoon, Justice declared a state of emergency in order to provide additional resources to fight the fire and test the conditions of air quality.

“Multiple state agencies have been involved in assisting Wood County since this terrible fire started on Saturday,” Justice said in a release. “We are committed to making sure this disaster continues to be addressed and therefore I am issuing this declaration so that essential emergency services continue without interruption/′

The declaration will remain in effect for 30 days unless it is terminated or extended by a subsequent proclamation.

Lubeck Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Stewart told The Parkersburg News and Sentinel that firefighters from 31 departments from West Virginia and Ohio responded. Officials said the main fire was put out Saturday but some hot spots remained.

No injuries were reported, although Camden Clark Hospital spokesman Roger Lock-hart says a few people sought treatment for breathing issues because of the smoke.

According to MetroNews, local officials said it will likely take a full week to fully put out the fire, using machinery to pull back melted metal to put out fires underneath.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office has started a preliminary investigation.