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Family was victim of blaze last year

April 11, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Thursday was not the first time the Diehl family of Berkeley Springs had been a victim of fire.

About May of last year, a home the family had been leasing in Baltimore caught fire and practically all their belongings were destroyed, said Ann Young, daughter of the woman and stepdaughter of the man who died in a house fire Thursday morning on Washington Street in Berkeley Springs.

Charles Diehl, 39, his wife Faith or "Faye," 39, and their sons Charlie, 14, and Jon, 11, died when fire swept through their small two-story home about 3:08 a.m.

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Young said the fire that occurred in her family's Baltimore home started in an electrical outlet in her bedroom.

The family was not at home when that fire broke out, Young said.

Young said she has been deeply troubled thinking about the two fires and said fire safety is weighing on her mind.

"I've been crying a lot. It's been really hard because I don't know where my stepfather's family is," Young said.

Adding to the hurt is that she has been told that she will have to identify the bodies.

Young said her family moved into the house in Berkeley Springs around last August. She said her stepfather worked at a Dollar General in Berkeley Springs and her mother was going to school to become a nurse.

Young said she moved out of her parents' house in Berkeley Springs about a month ago to live with a friend in Hancock.

The Diehls' neighbors in Berkeley Springs described the family as friendly and thoughtful.

Next-door neighbor Winona Shade said members of the Diehl family used to clear her walkways after snowstorms.

"They didn't ever want to take anything for it," Shade said.

Neighbor Debbie Jenkinson said she and members of the Diehl family used to talk to each other while they sat on their front porches.

"They were easy to get along with," Jenkinson said.

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