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Fires claim two family homes

by Kate Evans

Area firefighters battled two house fires in Berkeley Springs last week in bitter cold, snow and icy conditions.  The homes were both destroyed by the fires. One house fire rekindled later that night.  Firefighters also fought a fire in an unattached garage in Great Cacapon.

Bennett Lane fire

The fire call came into Morgan County 911 Dispatch Center as a structure fire for Bennett Lane at 8:05 p.m. Friday, January 21.  Bennett Lane is located off Cacapon Road east of the Panorama Overlook.

Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Chief James Steiner, who was in command of the fire scene, said that the fire was through the roof of the house when they got there and that 50% of the structure was on fire.  The home was a single story house with a basement.

Steiner said that the homeowner wasn’t home at the time and that a neighbor may have called in the fire.  The fire was all contained in the house and didn’t endanger any other structures or woods. There were no injuries.

Steiner said that the fire started on the first floor of the home.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the fire marshal.

Units that responded to the scene were Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon, South Morgan, Hancock, Paw Paw, Orleans, Needmore, Hedgesville and Reynolds Store Volunteer Fire Companies along with Morgan County Emergency Medical Services.  The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Reserves also helped with traffic.  Units were on the scene for three hours.

The house is a total loss. The Red Cross was contacted for the family, Steiner said. The only complication they had during fighting the fire was that the temperature was 6 degrees outside, he noted.

Nicole Lane fire & rekindle

The fire call came into the 911 Dispatch Center at 1:33 p.m. on Sunday, January 16 as a structure fire for Nicole Lane, which is off Johnson Mill Road in Berkeley Springs, said Morgan County 911 Dispatch Center Training Coordinator Sarah Hogbin.  The homeowner called in the fire.

The first units to arrive on the scene found fire coming out of the windows of the single family home, said Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Chief James Steiner, who was in command of the fire scene.  Firefighters were on site for about two and a half hours.

There were no injuries and the fire didn’t spread to any other structures or woods. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the fire marshal.

Steiner said that it had just started snowing when they got to the fire scene and that they had snow and wind to contend with while fighting the fire. There were no injuries. The Red Cross was contacted for the family.

Fire and rescue units that responded to the scene were Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon, South Morgan, Hancock, Orleans and Reynolds Store Volunteer Fire Companies along with Morgan County Emergency Medical Services.

The Nicole Lane fire rekindled at 11:43 p.m. that night.  A passerby called 911 and said it looked like flames were coming out of the building at the fire scene.  Berkeley Springs and Reynolds Store Volunteer Fire Companies responded to the rekindle.  They were on the scene until around 3 a.m.

Steiner said that the whole house was involved when fire crews first arrived for the rekindle. The house is a total loss.   The fire is still under investigation by the fire marshal.

Chief Steiner reminded people to make sure that there is nothing around or near their space heaters or electric baseboard heaters that could catch fire.

Central Avenue garage fire

Hogbin said that the call for a garage fire came into Morgan County 911 Dispatch Center on Saturday, January 15 at 6:57 p.m. for Central Avenue in Great Cacapon.  The garage fire was fully involved on arrival.  It was an unattached garage located on Willey Lane.

Hogbin said that the fire didn’t spread to any other structures or woods.  There were no injuries.  Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company Chief Jimmy Reed was in command of the fire scene.

Fire and rescue units that responded were Great Cacapon, Hancock, Berkeley Springs, Paw Paw, South Morgan and Clear Springs Volunteer Fire Companies along with Morgan County Emergency Medical Services. Units dealt with icy road conditions and were on the scene until 10: 40 p.m. that night.

 

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