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Berkeley Club fire ruled accidental

West Virginia Assistant Fire Marshal George Harms has ruled the cause of last Monday’s commercial building fire to be accidental. Harms said the March 5 fire that gutted the historic Berkeley Club bottling plant started when gasoline came into contact with a heater on the premises. Occupants in a garage bay of the building were working on a motorcycle at the time of the fire’s ignition, said Harms.

The two-alarm fire kept crews from more than a dozen fire companies working on the scene for hours. An initial call for the fire came in a 5:15 p.m on Monday. U.S. 522 was shut down until 10 p.m. as crews doused the flames in the two-story block building.

A motorcycle riding club was using the building at the time of the fire. The structure is considered a total loss. No one was injured in the fire, though one firefighter was transported to the hospital for treatment of chest pains that night.


  1. Lisa Adams on March 16, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    I hope it is torn down very soon. Its an eyesore and you can still smell the smoke when you drive by

  2. Carder on April 3, 2018 at 11:05 am

    I am thankful that no one was seriously injured – that was a seriously dangerous explosion! The bldg is very old, wondered if historic and could save or preserve the bldg. in anyway? Never say something is an eyesore in the wonderful BS town!
    The bldg by the Fairfax coffee shop that caught fire some time ago; that bldg is gone which to me is more of an eyesore than a historic destroyed bldg. BS has some extremely older buildings within the town, sure hope they all don’t decide to BURN DOWN or go the fire route for improvements etc. Perhaps there should be a town meeting on Structures that are not up-to-date so to preserve them and/or ways to help the owner/town work together on improving what we already have – rather than a quick fix and/or burn’um down’ and let insurance cover the expense or cover a re-build !?

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