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Berkeley County home destroyed by fire

October 15, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - A home in western Berkeley County owned by a Phoenix, Md., couple was destroyed Tuesday by a fire now under investigation by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's office, Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Co. chief Mike Nichols said.

No one was injured. Nichols said he talked with the owners, Stuart and Suzanne Amos, who were in Maryland at the time of the fire.

Nichols said the two-story, cedar-sided home off Pearl Court near the small Back Creek Valley community of Jones Spring was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived from Hedgesville after being dispatched at 4:04 p.m.

"The roof was gone," Nichols said.

He chief estimated the loss, including personal belongings, to be about $400,000.

The house was about three miles from a dry hydrant needed to shuttle water on tanker trucks to the fire, Nichols said.

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He said about 35,000 gallons of water were used by 40 to 50 firefighters who responded from Hedgesville, Back Creek Valley, Bedington, South Morgan County and the Berkeley County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The fire was about 10 miles from Hedgesville's station and the smoke was visible from W.Va. 9, Nichols said. The chief said he arrived at the home about 14 minutes after being dispatched.

Nichols said there have been discussions about building a substation for more immediate fire response to the Jones Spring area, but noted fire officials are now working on the construction of a new station at Hedgesville.

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