In the city of Moundsville, West Virginia, the demolition of the Fostoria building will continue despite the ongoing investigation into the nature of the fire that ravaged the building. The fire is of a suspicious nature because, according to Chief of Police James Kudlak, "There’s absolutely no electric in that building." The former glass factory was being prepared for demolition when a fire broke out two Saturdays ago. This fire has caused a minor setback for asbestos abatement crews. City Manager Allen Hendershot explained that "The fire makes it more difficult to do the abatement…But I don’t think it will be a major hurdle."
Asbestos exposure has been linked to the development of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops in the lining of the heart, lungs, or abdomen, and then moves rapidly through the body. No cure exists, but treatments like chemotherapy can help fight off the disease. Thousands are affected by this condition worldwide. In the United States, the cancer generally affects less than 3,000 new patients each year. It can take decades for mesothelioma cancer to develop after a person is first exposed to asbestos-containing materials.
The fire caused a roof collapse, and fire departments from four local areas took nearly a day to finally quench the flames. While a timetable has not been set, Hendershot said abatement and demolition will move forward. The site will eventually become home to a new shopping center, developed by Harold Games of GAB Enterprises. The project has received a $180,000 Brownfield Grant for the cleanup of the property. The asbestos at the site is present in floor tiles and window caulking in the center structures of the factory.