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LATEST: Martins Ferry Fire and the Future


Two days after a massive blaze wipes out part of Martins Ferry’s business district, people are concerned about their town and the livelihood.

Businesses remained shuttered, employees remain off the job, and the charred buildings are still standing, at least for now. The block is still cordoned off and a major part of Martins Ferry’s business district is charred, “What will happen is, those buildings will eventually come down. We don’t know the extent, whether all of them will come down or a few will remain. So we’re kind of waiting to see where we stand with that,” said Martins Ferry Service Director, Chris Cleary.

It will depend on the final reports from insurance companies and the state fire marshal. Right now, the state fire marshal is saying the on-scene part of the investigation is complete, the cause is still undetermined, they are still looking into all potential causes. In the meantime, an estimated 20 employees from these businesses are suddenly out of work.

Local ministers are planning fund-raisers to help them, “Being approached by the ministerial association about that, I thought was fantastic. It’s what Martins Ferry does. We come together and we fight back and that’s what we do, you know,” Cleary added.

Up the street at Ohio Means Jobs, they keep a list of jobs needing people and match them with people needing jobs, “We have a computer resource room here that they could use if they need the computer for anything to search for work. We provide resume assistance. All those type of services are free,” said Workforce Administrator, Mike Schlanz. “If somebody needs information on food stamps or other types of public assistance, we provide that to them as well,” Schlanz added.

The hope is that these businesses will return, somewhere, in the near future, “We’ll recover some way, somehow. And we’ll move on. And we’ll be better off for it,” said Cleary.

7News has learned that a concert fund-raiser is planned with a local church. We’ll bring you the details as soon as they are available.

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