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Woman saved by smoke alarm

January 16, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Fire officials say a smoke alarm saved a Morgan County woman's life Wednesday when a fire destroyed her house off Fairview Drive.

Sharon Clark was sleeping when the fire broke out in her house in the Clark subdivision about 11:18 a.m., said Lt. Dan Unger of the Berkeley Springs Fire Co.

After being awakened by the smoke alarm, Clark walked toward the living room and found the room in flames, Unger said. Clark then went into the basement and exited through a downstairs door, said Unger.

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By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, flames were shooting through the roof, and it was too late to save the structure, said Unger.

"They lost everything," he said.

With the exception of some minor burns on her hand, Clark escaped the fire safely, according to Unger.

Clark's husband, Steve, was not home at the time.

Unger said he believes the fire may have started in a chimney flue that was being used to vent a woodstove. There is a possibility that the flue was partially clogged, he said.

The couple was planning to stay with Steve Clark's father Wednesday night.

About 30 firefighters from West Virginia and Maryland responded to Clark's home, which was located about four miles northeast of Berkeley Springs.

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