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Three-story home destroyed in fire

June 13, 2009|By HEATHER KEELS

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A fire that destroyed a three-story home early Saturday near Martinsburg kept firefighters busy for most of the early morning hours, then for an hour and a half more after it rekindled later in the morning, said Kelly French, assistant chief of the Hedgesville (W.Va.) Volunteer Fire Department.

The fire at 197 Rodeo Drive, in the Winfield subdivision off of Dry Run Road, first was reported about 1:13 a.m., French said.

Five people -- four young adults who live in the house and one friend -- were home at the time, French said. All five escaped as soon as a fire alarm went off, he said.

The brick house, valued at about $400,000, was a total loss, and two cars in the garage also were damaged, French said.

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The occupants are staying with family members, he said.

French said the cause of the fire still was under investigation Saturday night, but fire officials thought it could have been an electrical fire that started near the electric meter box.

About 11 units from four area fire companies and an Air National Guard tanker responded to the fire, French said.

The fire was a challenge because there were no fire hydrants in the subdivision, forcing firefighters to shuttle water to the house in tankers, French said.

French said firefighters were questioning why a fire hydrant had not been installed, given that Winfield is a fairly new subdivision.

About 8:15 a.m., about three hours after firefighters first cleared the scene, the fire rekindled, French said. It was put out a second time by about 10 a.m., he said.

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