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Fires destroy two W.Va. houses

May 01, 1997

By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Firefighters battled two house fires and two brush fires in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle Thursday.

The two houses were destroyed in separate blazes within about three hours of each other. The two brush fires burned a total of about eight acres.

The first fire was reported about 3 p.m. in the Sleepy Hollow subdivision, which is off W.Va. 9 west of Martinsburg near the border between Berkeley and Morgan counties.

When firefighters arrived at the scene, a single-story house along Rocky Circle was engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading into a nearby wooded area, said Capt. Brian Bare of the Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Co.

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The fire scortched about three acres of woodland before firefighters brought it under control, said Bare.

No one was in the house, and officials were not sure whether the home was inhabited. It was not known who owned the property.

The cause of the fire was not determined. An estimate on property damage was not available, fire officials said.

A second fire destroyed an older two-story home along Cedar Lane in Berkeley County. Cedar Lane is off Fairview School Road, which turns off W.Va. 45 east of Martinsburg.

It was not known what caused the fire, which was reported about 6 p.m., said Robbie Robinson, chief of the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department. Lester Walls Sr. had been repainting the house and making other improvements before leasing it, said neighbors and firefighters.

The house was part of a large farm in the area, neighbors said. Fire officials did not have an estimate on damage.

Also Thursday afternoon, firefighters responded to a brush fire in Shanghai and a brush fire near the Avalon subdivision in the same area. The Avalon sudivision is off Hampshire Grade Road.

The fire near the Avalon subdivision burned about an acre and threatened some homes, and the fire along Minghini Road in Shanghai burned about four acres, officials said.

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