Jefferson County fire leaves family homeless

January 23, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A family was left homeless Thursday after a fire in their home on Cattail Road.

Family members in the house tried to throw water on the fire to control it but were quickly overwhelmed, said Ed Smith, chief of Independent Fire Co.

When firefighters arrived, heavy smoke could be seen in the area and fire was blowing out the rear of the home, which was close to the intersection with W.Va. 9, Smith said.

Firefighters entered the front of the house and tried to drive the fire back, protecting the part that had not burned, Smith said. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to a one-story section of the house, but there was heat damage throughout the home, he said.


Smith said the home was a "total loss."

The four people who lived in the house lost all their clothing and bedding, Smith said. The Red Cross was helping the family with clothing, food and shelter.

Smith said he believes the fire started when a chimney separated from the house allowing heat to escape inside. A wood stove was hooked to the chimney, he said.

It is possible the house can be salvaged, but it would require significant work, Smith said.

The house is owned by John Mao, but was leased by Tami and Roger Carey, Smith said. Two other adults also lived in the house.

Fire hoses were run along W.Va. 9, causing traffic congestion, Smith said.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene around 2 p.m. and were there until 4:10 p.m.

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