by Kate Evans
A Berkeley Springs family was displaced by an early Monday morning fire that destroyed their home. The fire call came in at 5:09 a.m. on March 18 for a residential structure fire on Breeden’s Addition Lane off Henry O. Michael Road.
Engine 12 from Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company responded within a few minutes and was advised that renters of the home said there was a fire on the front of the house, said a press release from Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company Lieutenant Zachary Sipe.
Engine 12 arrived on the scene reporting a working fire with 75% involvement of the structure.
Captain James Steiner immediately established command and requested the working fire dispatch. After eight minutes he brought crews outside for a strictly defensive operation until the fire could be contained.
The fire was knocked down at 5:40 a.m. and units remained on the scene until 8:05 a.m. performing overhaul and cleanup operations.
Fire units established a water fill operation at a hydrant at Sheetz to assist responding units.
Units from Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon and Hancock Volunteer Fire Companies initially responded to the house fire. When the working fire dispatch was added more units came from Orleans, Hedgesville, Reynolds Store, Clear Spring and Needmore Volunteer Fire Companies, along with Washington County’s Air Unit and Morgan County Emergency Medical Services.
The family of four, including two children, were able to get out of the burning home safely. The house is a total loss. The American Red Cross was contacted to help the family.
Potomac Edison was also notified and responded.
The cause of the fire is not known and remains under investigation. No injuries to civilians, pets or firefighters were reported.
The home did have working fire detectors, said Sipe. He cautioned homeowners to make sure that their smoke alarms and batteries are in working order with the recent time change. Smoke detectors do save lives.