At approximately 2:20 a.m. on March 4, the Morgantown Fire Department was dispatched to a confirmed structure fire at the former Dinsmore Tire building located at 195 Don Knotts Boulevard. Fire crews observed flames coming through the roof as they arrived on scene, and the officer in charge called for a 2nd Alarm Response, and later a general alarm.
A general alarm requires the call-back of all off duty firefighters. Crews were able to save the original section of the building by using two aerial platform trucks to suppress the fire and protect the exposures. The roof on the rear section of the building thought to have been added in the 1970s was destroyed by the fire and suppression operations. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. The building was currently vacant and is owned by the Morgantown Utility Board.
Investigators from the Morgantown Fire Department believe the fire started in the rear section of the building, and the cause is under further investigation at this time. It was apparent to firefighters and investigators that the building was being used by numerous homeless individuals, and the cause of the fire may be connected to their presence. Investigators will return to the scene later today. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Morgantown Arson Hotline at 304-225-3586.