Marlinton family "We've lost everything" - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Marlinton family "We've lost everything"

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The town of Marlinton in Pocahontas County has lost 50 percent of its business district in a fire.

That's according to Mayor Joseph Smith. 13 families are now displaced and 7 businesses were destroyed by the early Sunday morning flames.

30 different fire departments and law enforcement agencies responded from 5 counties.

"Marlinton is devastated. We'll never come back from it, ever. This is it for us," said Marlinton resident Alyssa Hall.

"It's tragic. I don't know how to take it," said another resident, Billie Woody.

"It was like there was no stopping it, it went from building to building," said Taylor Claerbarbogose.

"It's just a disastrous day. A very sad day for our community here," Marlinton Mayor Joseph Smith told 59News.

The water from the hose is hitting my face. The smoke is so thick it's hard to see and to breathe. A man who lives in this apartment shared with us the night that changed everything.

"At about 2:30 a.m. we heard the fire alarm go off, we tried to go back up but there was too much smoke. We got a few things out but lost everything else. 69 years of history gone that I've accumulated over the years," said displaced resident Roger Cain.

Another man was at his girlfriends apartment when the unthinkable became reality.

"They said there's a fire and we need to get out quickly. All we could do is grab a pair of jeans and our jackets. We got out here and the whole entire street was covered in smoke. Her apartment was the first to go and the roof caved in and it was so scary knowing that everything that she has was in there," Taylor Claerbarbogose said.

Townspeople watched in horror as part of the county seat of Pocahontas pummeled to the ground in flames and smoke. Still, most see a light at the end of the tunnel.

"It's amazing. Simply amazing. They've come from 3 or 4 different counties and even Virginia. That's how we work here in the mountains, everyone pitches in. We'll get through this," Cain said.

Mayor Smith is working with representatives from the Governor's office and the Red Cross to find a permanent housing solution. The Red Cross is temporarily housing the 13 displaced families. Smith tells us website to donate money to the families will be made shortly.