A Berkeley Springs family lost everything in an early morning fire on Labor Day that destroyed their home and all of their belongings. The fire also spread to four of their vehicles.
Morgan County 911 Dispatch Supervisor Sarah Henry said that the fire call came at 1:25 a.m. on September 4 for a working fire with entrapment at 17 Berkeley Lane. The location is behind the Pines Center — the former War Memorial Hospital. The residence was a two-story home with a garage and housed a small in-home childcare center.
Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company crews were first on the scene. Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company Chief James Steiner, who was in command of the fire scene, said that all of the family members had to escape the fire through a second story window and were safely outside when fire units arrived.
One of the family’s dogs perished in the fire, but the other dog is still missing. Steiner said they believed the missing dog escaped the fire through a doggie door, but the animal hasn’t been located yet.
Steiner said the home was more than 50% engulfed in fire when they arrived. There were no injuries. Independence Street in Berkeley Springs was closed due to the water lines running across the road to the responding tankers and fire trucks stationed near the scene.
Units from Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon, South Morgan, Hancock, Hedgesville, Clear Springs and Back Creek Volunteer Fire Companies responded to the blaze along with Morgan County Emergency Medical Services, Washington County Rehab Unit 255 and the Berkeley County Air Unit. Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputies Brad Knotts and Ryan Diehl also responded to the scene, said Henry. Units were on the scene until 7:38 a.m.
Units from Berkeley Springs and Hancock Volunteer Fire Companies responded to a rekindle of the house fire at 2:22 p.m. and cleared the scene at 3:18 p.m. Steiner said that the rekindle was just a little smoke.
Steiner said that the home was a total loss and that the American Red Cross was contacted for the family. The fire is still under investigation and the state fire marshal has been contacted.
A GoFundMe account has been created for Kevin and Kayla Buhr and children who lost their home, clothing, vehicles and other personal belongings in the blaze.