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Trailer fire follows wreck, power outage

March 01, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - An early morning car accident that knocked out electricity in the Hedgesville area Sunday played a role in a trailer fire that killed a family's dog Sunday afternoon, according to a fire official.

Firefighters were called to a trailer home at W.Va. 901 and Allensville Road in Hedgesville about 12:39 p.m. after neighbors saw smoke coming from a trailer owned by Tommy Smith, said Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Department assistant chief Brett Minnick.

Rescuers were initially concerned a child might be trapped inside but later discovered the boy had gone to church with his parents.

The family's dog was, however, inside the trailer and died despite efforts to resuscitate the animal, said Minnick.

The fire started in the kitchen when a radiant heater plugged in near a gas stove exploded and lit the kitchen cabinets on fire, said Minnick.

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The family had been using the gas stove to heat the trailer after their power went out around 3 a.m. Sunday but forgot to unplug the heater, he said.

When power was restored around 10 a.m. Sunday the heater came back on and overheated because it was too close to the stove.

"It was just a freak thing," said Minnick.

The fire did about $4,000 in damage to the $7,000 trailer, he said.

The power outage was caused when a 1991 Plymouth Sundance ran into a utility pole on W.Va. 901 north of some railroad tracks shortly after 2 a.m., said West Virginia State Police.

Jeffrey Lee Morris, 20, of Falling Waters was charged with driving under the influence under the age of 21 and striking a fixed object, police said.

Morris was taken to Martinsburg City Hospital where he was listed in stable condition Sunday.

The accident knocked out power to about 500 Allegheny Power customers in the Hedgesville area and power was fully restored by 11 a.m. Sunday, said Allegheny Power spokesman Guy Fletcher.

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