Family narrowly escapes West Virginia fire

August 13, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

HALLTOWN, W.Va. - Three people were injured in a Tuesday morning fire at their home in Halltown, escaping from the burning house as fire trucks pulled up.

Kenneth Harder, 65, was flown from Jefferson Memorial Hospital to Fairfax Hospital. His condition was unavailable late Wednesday.

His son, Charles Harder, 39, and his wife, Agnes Harder, were listed in fair condition Tuesday at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, said spokeswoman Teresa McCabe.

All three suffered burns and smoke inhalation, Friendship Fire Chief Steve Hough said.

Fire companies were alerted around 6:46 a.m. by a call from the home off W.Va. 230, Hough said.

The cause of the fire is unknown, he said.

The fire is believed to have started in the living room and spread to the bedrooms in the single-story, wood frame home, Hough said.


The family awoke to find the house filled with flames and smoke, Hough said.

A passerby stopped and assisted the three out of the home, Hough said.

There was a smoke detector inside the home, but Hough said he has not been able to determine if it went off.

The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage. The family escaped with only the clothes they were wearing.

About 35 firefighters from all five fire companies in Jefferson County battled the blaze for about 45 minutes, Hough said.

The Friendship Fire Department is seeking donations of clothing or money to assist the family, Hough said.

Anyone wishing to contribute can contact the fire department at 304-535-2211.

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