HURRICANE, W.Va. -- The second fire in 40 hours at a doctor's home in the Stonegate subdivision in Hurricane on Monday has been deemed suspicious, according to the chief of the Teays Valley Volunteer Fire Department.
Firefighters were first called to 57 Stone Ridge Drive at about 11 a.m. Sunday, according to Putnam County 911 dispatchers. The house is owned by Dr. Joe and Pamela Matusic, who are vacationing in Florida, according to Chief John Smoot.
Smoke was coming from a workshop area in the basement, Smoot said. Sunday's blaze is thought to be an electrical fire.
Firefighters left the home Sunday with the windows open after conducting numerous thermal-imaging tests.
"We repeatedly checked the house, and there were no hot spots," Smoot said. One firefighter had taken his wife to the home Sunday evening to show her what he and other firefighters had been battling earlier in the day, Smoot said. The firefighter and neighbors said they hadn't seen any smoke coming from the house Sunday night.
At about 3:30 a.m. Monday, firefighters were called back to the 6,500 square-foot home, which has been for sale for "a while," according to Smoot.
"When we pulled up, just a portion of the roof remained overtop of the garage," Smoot said. "We watched the [first floor] collapse into the basement."
The fire was extinguished at about 6 a.m. after utilizing 50,000 gallons of water, Smoot said.
The state Fire Marshal's office has been alerted, as well as Putnam County's arson investigation team.
Electricity had been turned off at the house after Sunday's fire, according to Smoot."And we were really comfortable with the thermal imaging," he said. "Somebody set it on fire," he said.