UPDATE (8/18/17 at 11 a.m.):
A fire on a historic Barbour County bridge was ruled arson, according to fire officials.
The Historic Carrollton Bridge caught fire on August 10 and was engulfed in flames within 30 minutes, officials said.
The State Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause of the fire to be arson, according to the Philippi Volunteer Fire Department Chief.
Just before 11:30 p.m. on Thursday night, a 911 call alerted emergency crews to two fires one on Carrollton Road and one on Buckhannon River Road near Volga in Barbour County.
The Historic Carrollton Bridge caught fire and within 30 minutes was engulfed in flames.
“On the initial dispatch we were alerted to two fires, one being the covered bridge here behind us and the other was a cabin on Buckhannon River Road. Nothing was confirmed on the way about the cabin so we stopped here at the bridge first. A deputy did find a camper on fire on Buckhannon River Road,” said Philippi Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Nathan Barker.
Seven fire crews and Barbour County EMS responded to both scenes and no one was reported injured. The covered bridge is the second longest and third oldest surviving covered bridge in the state.
The West Virginia Division of Highways has closed the Carrollton Covered Bridge on County Route 36 and will be taking measures to secure the bridge site to reduce trespassing and prevent vandalism.
“We’re meeting with the State Fire Marshall; we’re working with them, doing interviews with them. What we saw. What we heard. What the locals saw. Right now they are doing their investigations to try to find a possible starter. Right now, we believe this was probably arson,” said Barker.
Fire crews are still on scene and the State Fire Marshal’s Office has not yet ruled out arson as the cause of the fire and is handling the investigation.