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Morgan Co. mobile home burns with 5,000 rounds of ammo inside

November 27, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Firefighters responding to a mobile home fire Thursday morning in Morgan County arrived to a sound similar to fireworks exploding and soon learned that 5,000 rounds of ammunition were inside.

Because of the ammunition and a propane tank, firefighters moved back to a safe distance and poured water on the outside of the double-wide trailer at 1416 Jim West Road. The mobile home, which was a total loss, was owned by Charles Cain.

"He'd left to go hunting. His mom lives next door. ... She looked over and saw the flames," Berkeley Springs Fire Chief James Steiner said.

The cause and origin of the blaze were undetermined. Steiner said the fire started near a water heater.

"We do not suspect arson," he said. "It's an unintentional fire."

Firefighters from six area companies were on the scene from 9:30 a.m. to about 12:15 p.m. Steiner attributed diminished manpower to volunteers being away for hunting season.

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Heat from the mobile home melted siding on Cain's sister's home, which is 25 feet away.

"Twice during the fire, once we got it knocked down ... the fire actually started up again," Steiner said.

Cain, who did not have insurance, lost tools, a four-wheeler and 20 guns in addition to the home, Steiner said.

Firefighters from Berkeley Springs, Great Cacapon and South Morgan in Morgan County, Hancock and Clear Spring in Washington County, and Little Orleans in Allegany County, Md., responded to the scene. The American Red Cross also was on the scene.

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