Fire Destroys Nine Planes at Cumberland Airport

MINERAL COUNTY, W.VA - Fire marshals are still investigating what caused a fire to rip through an airplane hangar at Cumberland Airport in Wiley Ford, West Virginia Wednesday night.

Officials say they received a call about the fire at 10:53 p.m.  When the flames were out and the smoke cleared, nine planes had been destroyed. 

"After forcing entry into several of the hangars, most of the hangars had already burned out, destroying the planes and everything that was in the hangars," says Sean Malone, Deputy Chief of the Wiley Ford Fire Department.

Fire investigators say it may seem unusual that no flames were seen, but in a closed structure, very little is visible.

"There's no windows, no openings for the flames to be seen through. With it already being dark outside, the smoke would not have been seen," says Malone.

It took crews almost three hours to bring the fire under control. Investigators say materials in the hangars were highly flammable causing the fire to spread quickly.

"The fuel that's in the plane alone is very flammable, and then when you are dealing with the components that the planes are built of, the fiber glass, the material that each plane is constructed of that is also a contributing factor to the fuel load," says Patrick Barker, Assistant State Fire Marshal for the WV State Fire Marshal's office.

Officials say there's an estimated damage of at least $2 million. They haven't determined the cause.

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