EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSHOUSE FIRE
from Eyewitness News Online
Well-Known Doctor's House Destroyed By Suspicious Fire
Reported by: Jenifer McAndrews
Web Producer: Michelle Carroll
Reported: Jul. 16, 2012 4:54 AM EDT
Updated: Jul. 16, 2012 3:12 PM EDT
Teays Valley , Putnam County , West Virginia
A massive fire, described as suspicious, destroyed a home in Putnam County this morning. The home was owned by Charleston pediatrician, and Eyewitness News contributor, Dr. Joe Matusic. Dr. Matusic remains out of town at this hour with his immediate family, after attending a medical conference in Orlando, Florida. He spoke with Eyewitness News by phone a short time ago.
Several fire departments responded to 57 Stoneridge Drive around four o'clock this morning. The brick home, was reduced to rubble. The fire department had been to the house Sunday (late morning) after a report of a fire. Dr. Matusic says he was in a conference when he got the news.
The home was up for sale, and was being opened up Sunday for a showing by his brother-in law, who discovered the house was full of smoke. Dr. Matusic tells Eyewitness News he was told the origin of Sunday's fire may have been electrical in nature, since it appeared it have begun in a cinder block room with a metal door, and the smoke had spread through the duct work. The house had also been shown another time during his absence.
After that, Matusic was told there didn't appear to be any remaining hot spots in the house at that time, but there was a 50/50 chance it could rekindle. So, Matusic said he had a neighbor keep an eye on the house overnight, while the family started to drive home from Florida. But that neighbor contacted him this morning with the news his house was gone.
Dr. Matusic says the fire marshal has been called into investigate and that he has been told the fire is being called suspicious in origin. He has not yet seen what's left of his home and says he is in shock. But he tells Eyewitness News, "I have all that matters right now, my family. But I found out I have great neighbors, helpful friends, and a great fire department who did what they could for our house. That's what West Virginia is about. Helping one another. That's why I love it here."
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