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Sky Lake fire an accident

Investigator from fire marshal’s office visited scene Monday


CHESAPEAKE — A fire that destroyed a three-story structure at Sky Lake over the weekend has been deemed accidental by the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s Office.

According to Ed Webb, fire chief of the Chesapeake Volunteer Fire Department, the fire, which started Saturday evening, could have been caused by a heater that was being used to thaw frozen water pipes. An investigator from the fire marshal’s office visited the site of the fire, 1543 County Road 32, on Monday and determined the fire was accidental.

There were no injures and no one was in the structure, which housed a bait shop, restaurant and food brokerage company, and at the time of the fire, Webb said.

The fire was reported at about 9 p.m. Saturday, Webb said, and firefighters from Chesapeake, Proctorville, Burlington and Green Valley in West Virginia, fought the blaze until about 4 a.m. Sunday.

Thanks to a plan that was already in place in the event of a fire, Webb said, water from the pay lake was used to put out the flames.

“We had trucks actually drafting water from the lake to fight the fire,” Webb said. “At no time, from the initial first line, did we have any loss of water or power due to the preplanning. It paid off in fighting the structure.”

Webb said his department also has plans in place for other structures in case of an emergency.

“On large structures, we try and go over a scenario,” he said. “We try and see where we could get the water from, where the power is coming in, is there natural gas or propane? There were no hydrants near this structure (at Sky Lake). We had already preplanned to get trucks to get the water from the lake. Even though it (the fire) was already fully involved, we were able to contain it as much as we could.”

Webb also said the Green Valley fire department brought its aerial ladder so the water could be used at a high angle.

Although the Sky Lake structure is still somewhat intact, heavy smoke and water damage has made it a total loss, Webb said.