CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several vehicles were destroyed in the parking lot of CAMC Memorial Tuesday morning when a power line fell on top of them sparking the blaze.
Charleston Fire Department Captain David Hodges said a total of 14 vehicles were damaged and more could be impacted.
“Once we arrived there were numerous vehicles that were on fire and the fire continued to spread” said Hodges. “It was a very high-voltage power line.”
There were no injuries reported but the situation has caused a power outage on the CAMC Memorial campus which is running on generator power.
CAMC tweeted, “Memorial Hospital campus is currently on diversion due to a campus wide power outage. All procedures are on hold at this time. All patients with non-emergency (outpatient) visits, including imaging services, are cancelled. We will contact you to reschedule.”
Hodges said along with Appalachian Power, other entities were on hand to help determine where to go from there.
“We still have fire crews that are going to remain on scene for some time, cooling off hot spots, the city’s Office of Homeland Security is also working with CAMC to help them overcome some problems they are having with power outage,” he said.
Hodges said due to the power line and the vehicles affected by the line being highly-energized, they were unable to combat the blaze in the traditional way.
“Fires like this are a learning experience for us,” Hodges said. “The Fire Marshals Office and the Charleston Fire Department is going to continue to work with AEP to determine the cause of it, this is definitely a training fire for us.”
Appalachian Power’s outage map says 350 customers without power.
The fire was reported at about 9:30 a.m.
Memorial Hospital campus is currently on diversion due to a campus wide power outage. All procedures are on hold at this time. All patients with non-emergency (outpatient) visits, including imaging services, are cancelled. We will contact you to reschedule.
— Charleston Area Medical Center (@CAMCHealth) September 5, 2023
This is a developing story and will be updated.