Fire destroys abandoned home off Rt. 13

by Kate Evans
A Wednesday afternoon house fire that burned during the heavy rains from Hurricane Ida destroyed an abandoned home in southern Morgan County. Firefighters responded to a rekindle of the fire later Wednesday night.

The fire call came into Morgan County 911 Dispatch Center at 3:17 p.m. on Wednesday, September 1 for a house fire on Everest Lane, which runs parallel to Silver Squirrel Lane. Everest Lane is located around the 3400 block of Winchester Grade Road in the southern end of the county, said Sarah Hogbin, Morgan County 911 Dispatch Center training coordinator.

A neighbor called in the fire, she said. The first units arrived at 3:31 p.m. and reported a fully involved structure fire with the two-story house already on the ground. The fire didn’t spread and threaten any other structures or woods. There were no injuries.

Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Sipe was the officer in charge of the initial fire call, Hogbin said.

Deputy Chief Sipe said that the abandoned home was a total loss. The cause and origin of the fire are both under investigation and the fire marshal was called in to investigate. Sipe noted that road conditions were an issue during the fire response.

Hogbin said that it was raining really hard and was muddy when fire and rescue units went to the fire scene. Access was a little difficult.
Units that responded to the fire scene were Berkeley Springs, South Morgan, Great Cacapon, Hancock, Reynolds Store and Gainesboro Volunteer Fire Companies along with Morgan County Emergency Medical Services, Hogbin said. The last unit left the scene at 5:53 p.m.

The Everest Lane house fire rekindled later the same night, Hogbin said. The fire call came in to the 911 Dispatch Center at 8:33 p.m. on September 1. Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Chief James Steiner was in command of the fire scene. Units from Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon and Hancock Volunteer Fire Companies responded to the fire.

Units were on the rekindle fire scene a little more than two hours – from 8:35 p.m. to 10:42 p.m. There have been no further rekindles of the fire.