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House, antiques torched in fire

February 28, 2002|By DAVE McMILLION

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Fire raced through a one-story house off W.Va. 9 east of Martinsburg Wednesday afternoon, fire officials said.

Jane Spencer said her mother was cooking a meal for her nephew in the house when a grease fire started on top of the stove.

Spencer said her nephew, who is visually impaired, called her at work when the fire broke out.

"I said get out. I'll call 911," said Spencer.

When firefighters arrived at the house at 129 Sequest Lane, heavy flames were shooting out the center of the roof, said Lt. Travis Shroades of the Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Co., one of seven rescue units to respond to the scene.

"It pretty well gutted it out," said Shroades.

The fire was reported at about 2:17 p.m. and the last fire department left the scene four hours later, said dispatchers.

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There were no injuries, said Shroades.

Although Spencer believes a grease fire started the blaze, a cause of the fire was still being determined, said Shroades.

The house was where Spencer's mother, Wanda Sharff, and her father, Perry Sharff, lived. Her father died earlier this month, and Spencer said she moved in with her mother to take care of her.

Spencer's parents collected antiques, many of which were lost in the fire, said Spencer. The collection included 100 railroad lanterns, a Shirley Temple doll collection and 100 hurricane lamps, said Spencer.

"I've looked around the windows of the house. The inside is gone," said Spencer.

Spencer said she and her mother will have to find a motel to stay temporarily. Spencer lives next door and her house had smoke in it, she said.

Sequest Lane is about three-tenths of a mile from the entrance of Slonaker Road, which turns off W.Va. 9 at the Opequon Hill Club.

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