ELKINS - Two city residents, including an infant, were killed in an early morning house fire on Central Street in Elkins.
Elkins Mayor Van Broughton confirmed the deaths.
Interim Chief of Police S.D. Richards said the investigation into the house fire in the 100 block of Central Street is ongoing, and will be led by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office. The fire started about 4 a.m..
Five patients, three adults and two children, were initially transported to Davis Memorial Hospital, but eventually flown to the West Penn Burn Center in Pittsburgh for treatment, officials said.
Elkins firefighter Ron Corcoran said the bulk of the fire was knocked down within the first 15 minutes.
"It took nearly an hour to bring the fire under control," Corcoran said.
Corcoran said those responding to the fire included Randolph County EMS, Elkins City Police, the Elkins Fire Department, Beverly Volunteer Fire Department, Leading Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Junior Volunteer Fire Department and Belington Volunteer Fire Department.
Elkins Mayor Van Broughton said the Elkins Community suffered a terrible event.
"A house fire resulted in the loss of life, serious injuries and a total loss of the residents' home and belonging," Broughton said. "I hope you will keep these people - our neighbors in your thoughts and prayers.
"I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the men and women of the Elkins, Beverly, Belington, Junior and Leading Creek fire departments; Randolph County and other EMS squads; the Elkins Police Department; Davis Memorial Hospital; and life-flight helicopter crews from various agencies for their fast response to the fire," Broughton added. "While most of the city was still asleep, these selfless public servants were working bravely and tirelessly to save lives and protect neighboring properties. We should all feel grateful that these heroes are looking out for us, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week."
Broughton said he knows many people wonder how they can help.
"If we become aware of any opportunity to make donations to help the victims of the fire, we will publicize it," Broughton said.
Broughton said, in the meantime, one thing to do is honor the victims of the fire is by learning from what happened to them.
"Please, take this event as a reminder to practice good fire safety in your own homes," Broughton said. "Tonight, maybe even today, on your lunch hour, check the batteries in your smoke detectors. Make sure everyone who lives in your home knows at least two escape routes out of every room. If there is someone in your home who might need extra assistance in a fire, make sure your neighbors know."