3 Ways Inn fire

A firefighter enters a house on Potomac Avenue early Wednesday, where a fire caused damage to the kitchen area.

FAIRMONT — Last week’s fire at the Three Ways Inn remains under investigation by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office.

When asked for comment, the office stated that “the cause is still undetermined and still under investigation by West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office investigators.”

At the time of the July 2 fire, one area resident, Michael Imes, said he saw flames shoot out 50 feet into the air from the kitchen.

“It came from the kitchen, that’s where the fire was,” Imes said. “I seen the fire coming out from the kitchen. It was a lot of orange flames about 50 feet in the air.”

Valley Volunteer Fire Department Chief Dave Shields said the business was destroyed in the blaze.

However, the fire chief didn’t know the cause of the 4:28 a.m. blaze, which kept more than 50 firefighters from 11 fire departments busy for about six hours.

He didn’t know where the fire began in the structure, and didn’t know if it was suspicious or accidental in nature.

Leisha Elliott, executive director of the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Marion County, commented on the loss of the business.

“Losing Three Ways Inn is a loss for Marion County because after 55 years in business, they were an important part of the restaurant scene in the area,” she said. “Not only was it a good family restaurant, Three Ways Inn was used for business meetings, parties, and special occasions. Their lounge was popular with residents and visitors.”

She expressed empathy.

“I can only imagine how devastating the fire is for the owners, employees and their regular customers,” she said.

Eric Hrin can be reached at 304-367-2549, or ehrin@timeswv.com.