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Fire destroys Frontier training facility in Putnam

By Staff reports

ROCK BRANCH, W.Va. -- A Saturday afternoon fire destroyed a Frontier Communications training facility in the Rock Branch Industrial Park in Poca, a company spokesman said.

A firefighter suffered smoke inhalation while battling the blaze, a Putnam County dispatcher said.

A Frontier employee reported the fire at about noon, Frontier communications manager Dan Page said.

A metal canopy was significantly damaged by the blaze and a training building the size of a doublewide trailer was destroyed, Page said.

The quick-burning fire also destroyed a bucket truck and damaged nine other vehicles that were under the canopy.

No one was in the building at the time but there were employees in the office next door, Page said.

Authorities have not determined what caused the blaze.

An employee had left the area just 10 to 15 minutes before. Another employee, Anita Atkinson, discovered and reported the fire, Page said. The first employee saw no sign of the fire.

Atkinson, her husband, Frontier colleague Allen Atkinson, and fellow worker Michele Miller moved some of the vehicles from under the canopy to keep them from being destroyed, Page said.

Page said the company is grateful for the Atkinsons' quick response, as well as quick work from the Poca, Bancroft, Tyler Mountain and Nitro volunteer fire departments.


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