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W. Virginia gov. declares state of emergency over warehouse fire

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. -- West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency in a county where a fire at an old warehouse continued to smolder Monday.

The governor said in a news release that poor air quality around the former Ames plant in Parkersburg contributed to the declaration, which allows essential emergency resources to continue without interruption in battling the fire.

The declaration will run for 30 days unless Justice terminates or extends it.

The main fire at the 420,000-square-foot warehouse was extinguished Saturday. Rainfall on Monday helped with other hot spots although the smoke intensified Monday and remained close to the ground.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has declared a state of emergency in a county where a fire at an old warehouse continues to smolder. WTRF-TV

The plant, which closed in 2005, was being used to store recyclable plastics. Residents near the plant were urged to remain indoors if possible. Public schools in Wood County were closed due to smoke concerns.

Lubeck Volunteer Fire Chief Mark Stewart told The Parkersburg News and Sentinel that firefighters from 31 departments from West Virginia and Ohio responded.

"[Saturday] we used 6 million gallons of the city's water and 3 million gallons out of the river," Stewart said.

No injuries were reported, although Camden Clark Hospital spokesman Roger Lockhart says a few people sought treatment for breathing issues due to the smoke.

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