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Bystanders Hamper Firefighters Efforts To Fight Poca House Fire

Reported by: Send eMail Katelyn Sykes
Reported: Jun. 9, 2014 12:48 PM EDT
Updated: Jun. 9, 2014 1:10 PM EDT
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Poca Fire Latest
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Poca , Putnam County , West Virginia

As investigators try to figure out what caused a Poca family's home to go up in flames on Saturday, firefighters are issuing a plea, Monday, after their attention had to be taken away from fighting that fire.

"Our goal is to get in and to do our job and get out of there with the quickest rate we possibly can," said Assistant Chief of the Poca Fire Department,Shawn West.

But on Saturday night that goal, to put out a fire at a home on Dupont Road, was hampered. West said while firefighters were fighting this fire they had to handle another incident.

"The issue we incurred was impatient people," West said. "Which I understand. They want to get home, the roads had been shut down at this point roughly an hour and a half to two hours."

West said four men on 4-wheelers were angry and wanted the road opened. West said it became a hostile situation, and at one point, the men drove their ATV's over the fire department's hoses. Firefighters had to stop what they were doing to handle this situation.

"It takes away from the concentration from our job," West said. "You have to stop and go handle a situation that could have been prevented."

Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene and stayed to maintain safety to the area. West said the last thing he wants to do is to shut down a road, and he understands people get impatient about it, but they are just trying to do their job. While firefighters are doing their job, he is urging the public to stay back; not only for their safety but for the safety of the firefighters.

"Bystanders can hamper the effectiveness of getting the fire in and out," West said.

The men were not charged with anything, but West said if they would have damaged the hose they would have been responsible for it.

As for the cause of the fire, it remains under investigation.



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