LOGAN — 2019 was the busiest year on record for the City of Logan Fire Department, according to Chief Scott Beckett.
During his report at the regular monthly Logan City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, Beckett said the LFD answered more than 1,000 calls in 2019. Ninety-three of those calls were in December, which he said is higher than usual for the season.
“It was a busy, busy time of year for us,” Beckett said. “Normally, it kind of slows down in December, but not this year. Like I said, it was the busiest year on record. We responded to over a thousand calls out of one station. We set a record there, and that’s not a good thing. You normally want things to be on the decline on the fire safety side, but it is what it is.”
Councilman Ken Lee said that it would not surprise him if Logan were the busiest fire department in the state, per capita.
“I mean, we just about have to be,” he said.
Beckett said an official who annually recertifies the station’s breathing apparatuses said the LFD runs more calls than any station in his service zone, which includes parts of Ohio and Kentucky.
Indeed, 2019 was a year of several headlines for the LFD, with the passing of two active firefighters and one former fire chief, a building collapse and a large fire at the old Fox Apartments complex along Stratton Street.
Beckett said the remains of the Fox Apartments once again caused some woes in the early morning of Sunday, Jan. 12, when heavy wind gusts of up to 60 mph knocked over the remains onto the adjacent Ernie Sullins Apartment complex, causing substantial damage to one end of the building.
The Ernie Sullins complex had been damaged in the Nov. 8 fire, but most residents were able to return quickly. Beckett said the Jan. 12 event caused at least $250,000 or more in damage, and three apartments, which had just been remodeled, were damaged once again.
Beckett said the apartments are expected to be fully remodeled again. The Logan Banner reached out to an official with the Ernie Sullins Apartments, but no response has been given.
Mayor Serafino Nolletti read a certified letter addressed to the City of Logan by the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office outlining the ownership of the Fox Apartments.
According to the letter, the property was sold for delinquent taxes to Jonathan M. Prater Sr. on Sept. 30, 2019. The Fox family has until Feb. 24 to redeem the property, meaning they still currently retain ownership.