2018-02-07 / What's Happening

Home damaged by electrical kitchen fire

by Kate Evans

Area firefighters responded to a second appliance fire that began around a kitchen stove on Sunday evening and turned into a working house fire.

Morgan County 911 Deputy Director Sarah Hogbin said that the fire call came in on February 4 at 6:23 p.m. for a kitchen stove smoking on Shade Lane, located off Mountain Run Road east of Berkeley Springs.

The first units were on the scene at 6:48 p.m. and advised that there was smoke showing from the second floor of the home, Hogbin said.

The first interior crews found active fire in the kitchen, said Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company Sergeant Zachary Sipe, who was in command at the fire scene. The fire was contained to the kitchen and crawl space. Firefighters knocked the fire down within 10 minutes.

The fire is believed to have started in the crawl space, burning up through the floor to the kitchen under and behind the stove, Sipe said.

“The fire is believed to be electrical in nature as the homeowner states it began after the power went out and came back on and she heard a ‘popping sound’ near the stove,” Sipe said.

The homeowner was home at the time of the fire and called it in, Sipe said. She was uninjured.

Units from Berkeley Springs, South Morgan, Great Cacapon, Hancock, Reynolds Store, Orleans and Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Companies responded to the scene along with Morgan County Emergency Medical Services. Needmore Volunteer Fire Company filled in at the Berkeley Springs fire station during the fire.

Sipe said that response to the fire was delayed due to snow on the roads and icy conditions. Hedgesville’s fire engine got stuck and called for a tow. No other units were delayed getting to the fire scene.

One firefighter fell on the ice and twisted an ankle and one firefighter complained of exhaustion, Sipe said. Both firefighters were checked out by Morgan County Emergency Medical Services but weren’t taken to the hospital. Units were on the fire scene until 8:44 p.m.

“No other buildings were in danger at any time. The home sustained damage to the kitchen area and smoke damage to the living room and some minor smoke damage upstairs. The power was secured and the homeowner stayed in another building on the property,” Sipe said. Assistance by the American Red Cross was offered to the homeowner but she chose to stay on her property.

Sipe said that the first crew in the door did a great job knocking down the fire. “Their rapid actions are what saved the house from becoming fully engulfed,” he noted.

Sipe advised that “any time that the power goes out and comes back on (surges), if you smell an odor of something burning, see smoke or hear ‘popping noises’ as the caller described, turn off your power at the breaker box and call 9-1-1 so the fire department can check your house.”

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