Crews in Summers County Battling Multiple Structure Fires - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Arrest made in Hinton fire investigation

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HINTON -

Two fires in Hinton on Tuesday, Feb. 26 are believed to be arson.  The first was reported at 1:25 a.m. at a home in the 100 block of Fifth Avenue in Hinton.  The second was reported 30 minutes later in the 800 block of Temple Street at apartments known as the "Brick Row."

An investigation be Hinton Police lead them to Billy Joe Gill, 25, of Hinton.  They believe Gill is responsible for both fires.  The West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office assisted with the investigation.

Gill was arrested and charged with felony First Degree Arson and more charges could be coming.  He is being held in the Southern Regional Jail.

According to a release from the Hinton Police Department, Hinton leaders are working to help those who lost their homes in the fire. 

"I would like to personally commend the members of the Hinton Police Department for their hard work and efforts this morning in being able to apprehend the suspect so quickly and putting an end to the terror this subject was causing in our town," said Chief Derek Snavely. "I would also like to commend the Hinton Fire Department and all Summers County Fire Departments for their joint effort in putting out these fires and evacuating all of our citizens safely."

"I know today marks a day in history that many will never forget as we lost nearly a dozen homes, but we are so blessed that none of our citizens or first responders were injured in today's events," Snavely added.

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Officials announced at around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26 that Temple Street was reopened in Hinton after crews spent the early morning hours fighting fires that spread from home to home. 

 

Fire Marshals tell 59News that the fire is considered suspicious.

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Two streets are closed as firefighters battle a huge fire in Hinton. Both Temple and Summers Streets are closed to traffic.

 

Emergency dispatchers tell 59 News the first fire was reported at 1:24 a.m. Tuesday. It was located at a home in the 100 block of 5th Avenue.

Thirty minutes later, those same crews were toned out to a fire that was affecting multiple houses three blocks away in the 800 block of Temple Street.  It quickly spread to several other nearby structures as crews battled the flames.

Crews from every volunteer fire department in Summers County were called out to help the city of Hinton battle the fire. The State Fire Marshal and Hinton Police have also been called in.

At least one apartment building and several houses on Temple Street was evacuated. Firefighters have had issues with water pressure, but water company crews have been helping shutting down other services.

At this time, no injures have been reported.

59News is keeping an eye on the on going work to get this fire under control and will bring you more information as it becomes available.