House fire stopped in its tracks
Area firefighters stopped a house fire in progress last Saturday night and were able to save an unoccupied home on Highland Ridge Road that was being renovated.
The fire call came into the Morgan County 911 Center around 11:30 p.m. on February 18 for the 3000 block of Highland Ridge Road, said Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company Chief Todd Ruppenthal.
Dispatchers told Ruppenthal they received six calls from neighbors or passersby that had seen smoke coming from the eaves of the house.
Ruppenthal arrived on the scene first. He said that smoke was coming from the windows and fire could be seen in the living room and the hallway through the windows.
Once the first fire engine arrived, firefighters had the fire knocked down in five minutes to where they could go in and do some ventilation. Ruppenthal was very proud of how his guys got the fire under control so quickly.
“They did a really good job,” he said.
There was a lot of heat and smoke damage to the home. An estimate of the damages wasn’t determined yet. They’ll have to do a lot of renovation to repair the damage from the fire, Ruppenthal said.
Firefighters had to tear some of the ceiling out because the fire got in there and created hot spots, he said. The fire also got into the chimney and spread to the second floor.
The owner of the rental house was Rick Hoffman, who was fixing it up, Ruppenthal said. The house was not Hoffman’s residence.
Ruppenthal wasn’t sure how the fire started, but thought that it may have been electrical in origin.
Units from Berkeley Springs, South Morgan, Great Cacapon and Hancock Volunteer Fire Companies were on the scene along with Morgan County Emergency Medical Services. Orleans Volunteer Fire Company transferred to the Berkeley Springs fire station to handle other calls.
There were no injuries, Ruppenthal said. Units were at the fire scene until around 1:45 a.m.