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Lightning causes Martinsburg house fire

August 09, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A house fire Thursday morning in the 500 block of Douglas Grove Road near Martinsburg appears to have been caused by lightning, according to Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department Chief Marty Roberts.

Fire was found in the attic of the two-story home at 542 Douglas Grove Road when firefighters responded, according to Roberts and a Berkeley County 911 Central Dispatch supervisor. The fire was reported at 9:10 a.m.

Members of the Chaffins family who lived there were not home, Roberts said. Pets were removed from the home, Roberts said.

Roberts said the roof might have to be replaced as a result of the fire, and indicated the living areas of the home were damaged by water used to fight the blaze.

Lightning appeared to have struck the home’s shingle roof on the back side, Roberts said.

Firefighters from the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center, City of Martinsburg, 167th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard and South Berkeley Volunteer Fire Department also responded to the fire, Roberts said.

There were 29 personnel on scene, Roberts said.

Roberts said he believes the family was being assisted by a neighbor.

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— Matthew Umstead

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