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West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office investigating blaze

Historic home at 6433 Martinsburg Pike was part of Rock Spring farm

November 15, 2012

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — A fire that caused extensive damage to a historic home along W.Va. 45 (Martinsburg Pike) early Thursday near Shepherdstown remains under investigation, Shepherdstown Volunteer Fire Department Lt. Daniel Henderson said.

No one was injured in the blaze, which was reported about 1:30 a.m., according to Henderson.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office, according to Henderson.

Built in the 1830s, the red brick home at 6433 Martinsburg Pike was part of Rock Spring farm, Jefferson County Historical Society spokesman Curt Mason confirmed.

The owner of the property is Cooper R. McQuilkin, according to Jefferson County tax records.

Mason said he was told by another historical society member that little more than the walls of the home remain standing as a result of the fire.

A description of the property on the Jefferson County Landmarks Commission’s website indicates the home was one of the county’s “finest brick houses of the period” in which it was built on the 19th century farm along Rocky Marsh Run about two miles west of Shepherdstown. The description notes the property also is known as the Billmyer-McQuilken Farm.

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Firefighters from Bakerton Volunteer Fire Co., Middleway Volunteer Fire Co., Citizens Fire Co., Independent Fire Co., in Jefferson County, Baker Heights and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Berkeley County, and Sharpsburg and Boonsboro, Md., also responded to the fire, according to Henderson.

The home was engulfed in “heavy fire” when firefighters arrived, Henderson said.

Henderson said firefighters were at the scene until about 5 a.m.

— Matthew Umstead

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