RANSON, W.Va. – In Ranson, a concentrated line of thunderstorms that rolled through Friday evening downed trees and sparked fires.

Steve Allen is the Director of Jefferson County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.  He says the National Weather Service has not determined there was any rotation in the storm.  “It’s more of wind shears and high winds.”

Allen said there were 24 calls in the five hour period from around 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The calls were for downed trees, live powerlines, and five separate structure fires, two of which were very serious.

“The first fire call was at about 4:50 and it was to the county’s Day Report Center. The fire took the roof off the building,” Allen tells MetroNews.

Allen says a tornado came through in May of 2021 in pretty much the same area, causing widespread damage.

On Friday, though, “It appears it was high winds coming through…knocking over a power pole on to the structure for the day report center.   The fire took the roof off that (causing) extensive damage,” according to Allen.

The Day Report Center will be working temporarily in the banquet hall of the nearby Independent Fire Company.

During the height of the storm, 1,500 homes were without power.  The WVU Jefferson Medical Center had to go on generator power, according to Allen, who appeared on Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval Monday.

Allen said 3rd Ave. in front of the Day Report Center had to be cordoned off due to the possibility of that building collapsing.

Steve Allen said the damage encompasses a “four or five block area from 3rd Avenue on to the north.”

“There was a lot of trees knocked down,” he says.

In addition to seven fire crews from Jefferson County, first responders from neighboring Berkeley County as well as Clarke and Loudoun Counties in Virginia and Washington County in Maryland.

More pictures from a WVMetronews article here.