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Overnight fire destroys home in Martinsburg

June 04, 2010
  • House on 114 Fairfax St., Martinsburg, W.Va destroyed by fire.
Matthew Umstead, Reporter

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A smoldering cigarette caused a fire that gutted a house early Friday at 114 Fairfax St., in Martinsburg, city fire department officials said.

Lt. Greg Hoover, chief investigator of the Martinsburg Fire Department, said the two-story, wood-frame house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at about 12:20 a.m.

"It was a total loss," Hoover said of the accidental fire.

The damage was estimated at $50,000 to $75,000, Hoover said.

A dog and two kittens died in the blaze. Another dog and cat managed to escape, according to Martinsburg Fire Department investigator Jason Hoover.

The house was owned by Hedgesville, W.Va., resident Joan Bowers, according to fire officials.

Jason Hoover said a woman, who was in the process of moving into the home she was in the process of renting, was staying with family members when the fire started.

The house was estimated to be about 100 years old based on interviews with the owner, according to Jason Hoover.

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--Dan Dearth and Matthew Umstead

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