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Fire destroys house

March 12, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

SUMMIT POINT, W.Va. - Firefighters responding to a house fire early Friday in Summit Point could see the fire from three miles away and arrived to find the house nearly destroyed, according to a Jefferson County fire official.

Ed Smith, chief of Independent Volunteer Fire Department, said the blaze destroyed a ranch-style house at 2275 Leetown Road. No firefighters were hurt and the man who lived at the house was not present at the time, Smith said.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, and the state Fire Marshal's Office is investigating, Smith said. A neighbor reported the fire at 5:37 a.m.

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The man who lived at the house, Carroll Housden, was in Berryville, Va., at the time of the fire, filling his car with gasoline and getting other items, Smith said.

Smith said firefighters could see heavy smoke from Charles Town, W.Va.

"It was just about burnt to the ground" by the time firefighters arrived, Smith said.

Firefighters concentrated on preventing the fire from spreading to nearby cars and outbuildings. They also focused on preventing the flames from reaching a 500-gallon liquid-propane tank, which was hot, Smith said.

Two cats were in the house at the time of the fire. One escaped on its own but the other has not been found, Smith said.

Smith said the house recently had appraised for $120,000, and its contents were estimated to be worth $15,000.

Eight fire companies from West Virginia and Virginia were called to the scene, mostly to assist with supplying water. No hydrants are near the site, Smith said.

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