Firefighters respond to fire at Wholesome Foods

EDINBURG – Firefighters responded to a fire at Wholesome Foods at 986 South Ox Road near Edinburg on Wednesday night, Jan. 14. 2015-01-14_WholesomeFoods01No employees were injured in the fire, but one firefighter suffered a minor injury and was taken to the hospital.

The call was dispatched at 8:24 p.m. and Edinburg firefighters found heavy fire in the auto shop section of the Wholesome Foods complex. Their immediate goal was to keep the fire from spreading. Adjacent to the burning building were some nearby tanks that contained several thousand gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel. Also nearby were additional buildings.

The fire was contained to the one building.

The facility is located outside of Edinburg and did not have fire hydrants. Additional tankers were dispatched to help, and fire engines and tanker trucks hauled water to the scene, filling up at three hydrants along Stoney Creek Boulevard in the town of Edinburg. In all, they carrried about 91,000 gallons of water to the fire scene.

Fire crews remained on the scene until after 1 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 15, and the building was expected to continue smoldering.

The Shenandoah County Fire Marshal has begun an investigation into the cause of the fire. Everything so far points to the fire being an accidental fire, according to Fire Marshal David Ferguson. 2015-01-14_WholesomeFoods02His investigation will continue when he can access the building, which has unstable walls and hot spots in the debris.

Responding to the fire were units from Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire Company, Woodstock Fire Department, Conicville Volunteer Fire Department, Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department, Strasburg Fire Department,  Orkney Springs Fire and Rescue Inc., Woodstock Volunteer Rescue Squad, Strasburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue. Deputies from the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office provided traffic control.

Fire damages family business near Conicville

A firefighter uses a saw to cut open the wall to better reach the fire.

A firefighter from Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company uses a saw to cut open a wall for better access to the fire.

CONICVILLE—A fire Saturday morning, Nov. 15, damaged a family business near Conicville. Nobody was injured in the blaze.

Dispatch alerted fire and rescue crews to the fire at 6:12 a.m. When firefighters from Conicville Volunteer Fire Department arrived at 2328 Pepper Road, they found fire burning in a metal-clad garage-style building. They quickly entered the building and began fighting the fire, stopping its spread in the two-story interior.

The building houses the Brillman Company, a family-run business that deals in electrical parts for automotive use.

After extinguishing the fire, firefighters remained on the scene making sure that all smoldering hot spots had been found and dealt with. Units left the scene around 9 a.m. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Along with the Conicville Volunteer Fire Department, units also responded from Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire Department, Orkney Springs Fire and Rescue, Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Woodstock Fire Department, New Market Fire and Rescue Department, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue.


Fire marshal investigates early-morning fires

Fire at 7063 Senedo Rd

Fire burns an unoccupied building used for farm storage at 7063 Senedo Rd.

WOODSTOCK—Fires burned two buildings in southwestern Shenandoah County in the early-morning hours on Friday, June 13. 

Nobody was injured in the fires, which happened about an hour and a half apart.

“We are investigating them as potentially set fires,” said David A. Ferguson, Shenandoah County fire marshal.

Dispatchers alerted fire and rescue units to the first fire at 2:35 a.m. That fire burned an abandoned mobile home at 4939 Orkney Grade, near Morning Star Road. By the time firefighters arrived, flames had almost completely consumed the building. 

Fire at 4939 Orkney Grade

A firefighter from Orkney Springs waits for water at the scene of a fire in an abandoned house at 4939 Orkney Grade

Units were finishing at that scene when the second fire was dispatched at 3:59 a.m. The second fire was in an unoccupied building used as farm storage at 7063 Senedo Road near N. Mountain Road.

Firefighters found fire throughout the masonry building, with vehicles and other buildings threatened by the flames. Fighting the fire from outside, they were able to keep the fire from spreading to anything else.

Units from Orkney Springs Fire and Rescue, Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire Department, Conicville Volunteer Fire Department, Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Woodstock Fire Department, New Market Fire and Rescue, Timberville Volunteer Fire Department, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue responded to the fires.

The fires are being investigated by the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s Office, with help from the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, the Frederick County Fire Marshal, and Virginia State Police.

Anyone with information that could pertain to the fires should call the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s Office at 540-459-6177. An Arson Reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest or indictment of the person(s) responsible for these fires.



Fire Destroys Historic Alms House at County Farm

MAURERTOWN — Two occupants escaped a fire that destroyed a historic house at the Shenandoah County Farm, known locally as the Alms House.

Smoke alarms alerted the residents to the fire early Sunday morning, April 13, and they escaped through a first floor window. One was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries from going out the window.

Dispatchers alerted fire and rescue units to the fire at 5:42 a.m.

When firefighters arrived, they initially entered the building to search for occupants, but stopped the search when they got word that everyone was already out. By that time the fire had grown so large that firefighters could only fight the blaze from outside the building.

The building, at 192 County Farm Lane in Maurertown, was being used for transitional housing managed by Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter. It is owned by Shenandoah County, and has been since it was deeded to the county in 1798 with the purpose of serving the poor.

An assessment lists the building’s construction date as 1764, and the records from the Shenandoah County Historical Society show that there were additions in 1829 and 1850, bringing it to more than 8,000 square feet.

“It’s not just the loss of a county structure,” said Mary Beth Price, county administrator for Shenandoah County. “It’s the loss of a historic county structure.”

“It’s a huge loss,” she said.

The County Farm is in an area without fire hydrants, so fire crews had to truck water to the scene.

No cause has been determined, and the county fire marshal is investigating the fire.

Fire and rescue units responded to the fire from Toms Brook, Woodstock, Strasburg, Edinburg, Middletown, Conicville, Orkney Springs, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue. Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office and Virginia Department of Transportation helped with traffic control.

Crews Continue to Monitor Hazmat Incident at George’s Chicken

EDINBURG — Senedo Road (Route 42) remains closed due to a hazardous materials incident at George’s Chicken at 19992 Senedo Road. Other roads that were closed earlier have reopened.

The plant also remains closed as crews monitor ammonia levels, but occupants have been allowed to return to another business and about six homes after an earlier evacuation.

The ammonia leak has been stopped, and there were no injuries as a result of the incident.

“George’s did a really good job of evacuating the plant,” said Gary Yew, chief of Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue.

Ammonia is used as part of the refrigeration process at the plant. A leak of the gas can present the risk of asphyxiation as well as being a fire hazard at some levels.

George’s Chicken has its own hazardous materials team on the scene, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue and Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company remain on the scene in a supporting role, along with a hazardous materials specialist from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office has assisted with evacuations and traffic control.

Conicville and Woodstock fire departments and Woodstock Rescue Squad also responded to the call, which was dispatched at 12:28 p.m. on Friday afternoon, Jan. 31.