Crews demolish apartment building after fire

Fire destroyed the Regal Apartments in Charleston Wednesday evening.
Fire destroyed the Regal Apartments in Charleston Wednesday evening.(Kim Rafferty)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 3:37 PM EST
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UPDATE: 1/26/23 @7:50 a.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Crews demolished an apartment building early Thursday morning, hours after it caught fire.

The Regal Apartments along Kanawha Blvd. caught fire about 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

No one was injured, and all 35 residents are accounted for and safe.

Crews say the demolition of the building with continue throughout the day Thursday.

No cause has been released for the fire.

WSAZ is reaching out to the City of Charleston for more information about the building’s history.

Patriot Services Group owns the building. A spokesperson said, “We want to thank the swift and professional response of the Charleston Fire Department and Charleston Police Department. We are heartbroken for the material loss and the hardship this creates. We are in ongoing communication and collaboration with authorities on the scene and the Red Cross to ensure the immediate wellbeing and housing needs of the displaced residents are met. Patriot Services Group is leading the effort to place all residents in hotels for at least the next week at no cost to the residents while permanent housing solutions are arranged.”

The Red Cross is assisting those affected. The organization is taking donations for basic needs like clothes.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The fire fight along Kanawha Boulevard following a massive fire at an apartment building has entered the demolition stage.

Firefighters and emergency crews have begun to tear down the Regal Apartments building Wednesday evening after battling flames and black smoke for more then four hours.

Dispatchers received a call just after 3:00 p.m. about heavy smoke and flames coming from the roof of the building.

Officials with the Charleston Fire Department say no one was injured in the fire and that all 35 residents in the apartment complex are safe.

Fire crews said early in the fire fight they were using a defensive strategy to attack the fire because of a partial roof collapse.

“We do have some small portions of the roof that are collapsing,” said Charleston Fire Captain David Hodges. “Unfortunately, the fire rapidly spread to the attic space area.”

Hodges tells 75 firefighters responded to the scene to assist.

“You are going to see smoke,” said Hodges. “People on the east end of Charleston, it’s going to be smoky throughout the evening. You may be inconvenienced, but please do keep the folks in mind that are being inconvenienced by losing their home today.”

Kanawha Boulevard East is shut down between Ruffner Avenue and Bradford Street at this time.

“Right now we are working with the Red Cross to do an individualized assessment with each and every person,” said Charleston Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin. “Folks need medicine through the night. Folks need something to eat, a place to stay. We are going to make sure that nobody leaves tonight until everyone has exactly what they need to get through tonight and the next day and certainly long-term, because no one is going back into this building anytime soon.”

“This is a hard scene to look at, certainly if you have lived in the building, but the best scene is to see everybody standing on the street - that everyone got out.”

said Charleston Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin

Smoke from the fire can be seen for miles.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.