Associated Press Published

Harpers Ferry Blaze Caused About $2 Million in Damage


A state fire official says a fire in Harpers Ferry’s commercial area caused about $2 million in damage.

Assistant state fire marshal George Harms tells The Herald-Mail that the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined.

The fire occurred on Thursday and destroyed four buildings that housed eight businesses and two apartments.

Harpers Ferry Mayor, Gregory Vaughn says the damage affected nearly half of commercial businesses in the town and says for the 280 residents, it was a major setback. However, despite the loss, tourists turned out in large numbers over the weekend. Vaughn says shops and restaurants unaffected by the fire were packed with people.

Vaughn also says there’s been an overwhelming amount of support shown nationally.

“It’s uplifting, and I think that that has given us the strength and courage to move forward and further defining what we need to do to return historic Harpers Ferry,” Vaughn said.

Harpers Ferry officials met on Saturday to discuss the fire’s impact and rebuilding.

The buildings were constructed in the 1800s.

Harpers Ferry sits on a peninsula at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. The town was the site of a failed raid on a federal arsenal in 1859 by abolitionist John Brown. The attack raised public tensions before the Civil War.