A historic building located on the southern end of Wheeling Island has been reduced to rubble after a two-alarm fire tore through a building that stood for nearly a century on New Year’s Eve. What used to be an exposition hall and skating rink, built in 1924 by the West Virginia Exposition and State Fair Association was engulfed in flames.
The building, which was owned by Wheeling Island Casino, required help from all departments.
Wheeling Fire department responded to the scene first, but after realizing the fire was too much, they called in backup from their own department along with the Cumberland Trail and St. Clairsville departments.
To get the fire under control, fire officials had to use resources that are not commonly used for a typical fire. Officials say that the fire departments called to the scene used approximately a million gallons of water to put out the flame.
Fire crews remained on scene throughout the night and into the New Year, working to extinguish hot spots. Now, the exposition hall lays in a pile of mangled steel, broken concrete blocks, and the musty smell of a lingering fire.
Fire investigators say the scene remains under investigation at this time, but do believe the fire started in the southern portion of the building.