Just 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.