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Cause of Hedgesville-area fire undetermined

Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Mike Nichols: Extent of damage to the home means there is no way way to determine the cause of the blaze

December 26, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — The cause of a fire that destroyed a Hedgesville-area home Wednesday afternoon is undetermined, Hedgesville Volunteer Fire Co. Chief Mike Nichols said.

No one was injured. The owner of the home at 216 Chickadee Lane off Plateau Drive had left to go to work about an hour or so before neighbors reported the fire, Nichols said.

The fire at the one-story, cabin-like structure was reported at about 1:20 p.m., but bad road conditions delayed firefighters’ response by several minutes, Nichols said.

An assistant state fire marshal will not be called to investigate because Nichols said there was no way to determine a cause given the extent of the damage. Where the fire originated in the structure also was not clear, Nichols said.

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The roof of the home already had collapsed when firefighters arrived, Nichols said. He estimated it took firefighters 15 to 20 minutes to get to the fire near the Berkeley County-Morgan County line off Mountain Lake Road.

A couple of tanker trucks got stuck due to weather conditions and didn’t make it to the blaze, Nichols said.
There were no hydrants available to fight the blaze, Nichols said.

Several units from Hedgesville were assisted by firefighters from Back Creek Valley Volunteer Fire Co., Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Co. and Bedington Volunteer Fire Department, Nichols said.

Nichols said icy, snow-covered road conditions were treacherous and motorists were making things worse by not staying home.

“On the way back, we had to pull some vehicles out of the way to get back to the station,” Nichols said.

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