Man dies in Woodstock fire

patchJust before midnight on Friday, Sept. 18, fire and rescue units from central and northern Shenandoah County responded to a structure fire at 98 Wood Park Lane, just north of Woodstock. Callers to 911 reported one person trapped inside the structure.

The first companies to arrive found a trailer home in flames, with fire spreading to trailers on each side at 94 Wood Park Lane and 102 Wood Park Lane.

Firefighters verified that there was a trapped occupant but extreme fire conditions kept them from making a rescue. Officials later confirmed one adult male fatality.

Firefighters were able to quickly confirm that two other occupants of the home, an adult female and one child, escaped with no injuries.

Investigation by the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s office and the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Department suggests that the origin of the fire was near the clothes dryer, as reported by the female occupant. She said that they have been experiencing electrical problems with the dryer for some time.

Interviews with witnesses indicate that the deceased was not in the home at the time, and arrived thinking the female and child were still in the trailer. Witnesses say he entered the burning structure to rescue them and was unable to escape. A neighbor, an adult male, also entered the burning structure to assist with the rescue attempt and sustained burn injuries. The neighbor was transported to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released.

The investigation indicates that both the deceased and the neighbor were unaware that the adult female and child had escaped the burning home. The American Red Cross is providing shelter to both of the adult and the child.

The trailer at 98 Wood Park Lane was totally destroyed.

The neighboring trailer at 102 Wood Park Lane sustained damage, and three adults and two children have been displaced from that trailer. The Red Cross is also taking care of sheltering them and addressing their immediate family needs.

The trailer at 94 Wood Park Lane was unoccupied.

Investigators canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses got additional reports from residents of the trailer park of electrical problems, and the County Building official condemned one other home at 75 Wood Park Lane until maintenance violations are corrected. Occupants of this home are being sheltered by Social Services.

All Fire and EMS units left the scene around 2:45 Saturday morning. The Fire Marshal’s office stayed at the scene throughout the night to continue the investigation.

The response from central and northern battalion companies of Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue included engine companies from Woodstock Fire Department, Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department and Strasburg Fire Department and a ladder truck from Woodstock Fire Department. EMS units came from Woodstock Rescue Squad, Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue and Strasburg Rescue Squad.

House fire claims pet

A house fire at 793 Stoneburner Road claimed a dog, but firefighters saved three guinea pigs and a lizard from the blaze. None of the home’s seven human residents was home at the time, although there were initial reports that one was trapped in the burning building.

793 Stoneburner Road

One firefighter suffered a minor injury while fighting the fire, which took several hours to bring under control. The house’s older construction contributed to the damage, allowing fire to get inside the walls and spread before firefighters could expose and extinguish it.

Three adults and four children were displaced by the fire, and the Red Cross was called to assist them.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Units responded from Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Woodstock Fire Department, Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire Department, Conicville Volunteer Fire Department, Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department, Woodstock Rescue Squad, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue. Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office provided help with traffic control.

 

Three escape house fire near Edinburg

Firefighters from Woodstock and Edinburg contain a house fire at 467 Mash Lane near Edinburg early on Thursday morning.

Firefighters from Woodstock and Edinburg contain a house fire at 467 Mash Lane near Edinburg early on Thursday morning.

EDINBURG — Three occupants escaped a house fire without injury early Thursday morning, Oct. 24. One of them awoke before 5 a.m. to find flames in the house, and by the time the three got outside, flames were shooting through the roof.

The fire at 467 Mash Lane was dispatched at 4:49 a.m. and the first arriving fire engine from Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company found the entire home in flames, along with two vehicles. They worked to cool down a propane tank next to the house and kept the fire from spreading further.

Because of the rural mountainside setting of the fire, four fire engines carried water to the scene to supply a fifth fire engine. In a span of about three hours, the engines brought over 10,000 gallons of water to the fire scene.

The Red Cross came to the scene to help the family of four that were displaced by the fire. The fourth resident was not home at the time of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“This fire serves a reminder to us to check our smoke alarms to make sure they’re working with fresh batteries,” said John Collins, public information officer for Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue.

Though no cause has been named for the fire, Collins pointed out the colder weather and urged residents to make sure that wood stoves and chimneys are in clean, safe working order and that space heaters are away from flammable materials.

Shenandoah County residents in need of a smoke alarm can contact the SCFR office at (540) 459-6167.

Units responded to the fire from Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Woodstock Fire Department, Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire, New Market Fire and Rescue Department, Woodstock Rescue Squad, Virginia State Police and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue.

A firefighter hoses down a burned out vehicle at the scene of a house fire at 467 Mash Lane near Edinburg early on Thursday morning.

A firefighter hoses down a burned out vehicle at the scene of a house fire at 467 Mash Lane near Edinburg early on Thursday morning.

SCFR worker helps rescue family from house fire

Fire burns the house at 3911 Saint Davids Church Road in Fort Valley, minutes after the last of the three occupants were removed safely.

Fire burns the house at 3911 Saint Davids Church Road in Fort Valley, minutes after the last of the three occupants were removed safely. (Photo credit: Wendy Bulatko, Fort Valley Volunteer Fire Department)

FORT VALLEY — An employee with Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue helped rescue a family of three from a house fire on Thursday morning, Feb. 14.

A smoke alarm alerted the family to the fire, and they called 911. The call was dispatched to emergency units at 7:02 a.m.

Meanwhile, Shannon Johnson, service assistant for SCFR got a text message about the fire from a member of Fort Valley Volunteer Fire Department.

Johnson lives nearby and headed to the scene, where she found fire coming out one end of the house.

“I’ve been close to these things before, but for it to be someone you know is terrifying,” Johnson said.

Two of the residents, a husband and wife, have disabilities, and a wheelchair ramp sits at one end of the house. It was that end that was burning.

The couple’s adult daughter serves as a caregiver for them, and she was inside working to get her parents out of the house, which was filling with smoke.

“I could hear her inside hollering ‘I need help!’ ” Johnson said.

The wheelchair access was blocked by fire, so Johnson went to the other end of the house, where she had to climb a locked gate to get onto a raised deck.

The father was on the deck, but the daughter was struggling to get her mother out of bed.

Johnson entered the house and helped get the mother into a wheelchair and onto the deck.

“The smoke was really thick,” Johnson said. “It was about halfway down from the ceiling.”

By that point, Eugene and Wendy Bulatko of Fort Valley Volunteer Fire Department arrived, along with a utility crew. Together, they opened the gate and got the family off the deck to safety.

The three residents were taken to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for observation. The Red Cross is assisting them after the fire.

While the cause of the fire is under investigation, it’s believed to be of accidental origin, related to the wood stove being used in the house.

For the second time in four months, officials credit a smoke alarm with helping save lives in a Shenandoah County house fire.

“If you don’t have working smoke alarms in your house, we urge you to contact us, and we’ll help you get some,” said John Collins, public information officer for SCFR.

Contact the SCFR office at (540) 459-6167 for a smoke alarm.

Units responded to the fire from Fort Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire, Strasburg Fire Department, Strasburg Rescue Squad, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue. Due to the report of entrapped occupants, units were also dispatched from North Warren Volunteer Fire Company and Rivermont Volunteer Fire Company in Warren County. Those units were canceled before they could reach the scene.