Fire destroys building at West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind

ROMNEY, W.Va. — A fire broke out early Saturday on the campus of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind and destroyed a building, authorities said.

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More than a dozen fire crews responded after the fire was reported at about 6:10 a.m. EST, the Cumberland Times-News reported. The blaze engulfed the administration building, and a porch and wall collapsed, the newspaper reported.

“When we got here, we had fire blowing out of every door and window,” Romney Fire Company Chief G.T. Parsons told the Times-News.

The building also houses the school’s archives and the superintendent’s residence, according to the newspaper. There were no injuries.

The West Virginia Department of Education issued a statement shortly after 9 a.m. EST.

“The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported,” the statement read. “No students were on campus at the time of the fire. The state fire marshal’s office will be on-site today to investigate as the building was a complete loss.”

“I worked here for 10 years, my mom and grandmother were house parents for 30 years -- (there is) a lot of heritage here,” Cheri Beverage, the former director of Hampshire County Emergency Services who lives a block away from campus, told the Times-News. “It went up quick. An ambulance crew just came by here five minutes before the call and didn’t see anything. “I could see flames from my kitchen window.”

It is unclear what started the fire, authorities said.

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