Furnace fire prompts nursing home evacuation

BEECH BOTTOM – More than 60 residents of Valley Haven Geriatric Center were evacuated from the skilled nursing home after a fire in the furnace released smoke into the complex at about 9:20 a.m. Friday.

Beech Bottom Fire Chief Roger Coulter said the residents were moved to Beech Bottom Primary School and an adjacent building there as well as an enclosed trailer belonging to the Brooke County Emergency Management Agency.

Coulter said the residents remained off-site for at least an hour while the source of the fire was determined and the building was cleared of smoke. He said the furnace was repaired when the residents were returned to the facility.

Coulter said the residents were transported by crews with the Brooke County Ambulance Service and first-responder units from West Liberty, Clearview and Triadelphia fire departments as well as Valley Haven’s own handicap-accessible van.

Firefighters from Windsor Heights, McKinleyville, Bethany Pike and Franklin Community also were called to the scene.

“It was a well orchestrated response and team effort from everybody,” he said.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com)