Jefferson County, W.Va., fire claims house, pet birds

March 17, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • An early-afternoon fire rages Thursday in a single-family home on Palmer Drive off Engle Mollers Road in Jefferson County, W.Va. The home was destroyed.
By Richard F. Belisle

BAKERTON, W.Va. — An early-afternoon fire in Jefferson County, W.Va., destroyed a single-family home on Palmer Drive off Engle Mollers Road Thursday that had tankers from several area fire departments hauling water in relays to the scene.

"I lost everything," said John "Buddy" Palmer, owner of the vinyl-clad rancher.

"Let it burn out," he said when he saw what little was left of his home. "I'm trying to find out if I have enough insurance to cover my mortgage."

No one was injured, but Palmer said some pet birds were lost in the blaze.

Walter Tucker, who lives down the hill from the fire on Carter Avenue in Bakerton, said he called the alarm in shortly after 12:30 p.m.

"I looked out my window and saw smoke, then I saw flames shooting out through the roof," He said.

Chief James Johnson said firefighters had trouble getting water to the flames because of the long steep lane leading from Engle Molers Road to the house. A fleet of tankers was hauling water from a source on Job Corps Road and dumping it into temporary holding tanks on the bottom of the hill.

Johnson said the fire was out by 4 p.m. and that he was ready to begin the investigation into the cause.

All seven Jefferson County fire departments responded to the fire along with two from Washington County and one from Neersville, Va., Johnson said.

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