June 14, 2024
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By CYNTHIA CATHER BURTON

According to a press release by the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department, a fire destroyed a house in the 900-block of Front Royal Pike, Wednesday night, and sent three residents to Winchester Medical Center.

Just after 6:15 pm, emergency crews responded to the fire at the brick single-story residence. The release stated that when firefighters arrived, they discovered smoke in the entire home as well as “fire conditions up to the roof of one particular area.”

According to the press release, the fire started in an unoccupied area and had “rapidly advanced” when it was found. The fire was put out shortly after nine o’clock, using nearby fire hydrants for the water supply. The cause of the fire is still being investigated, although it’s “treated as an accident,” according to the press release.

Firefighters returned to the scene on Thursday morning, extinguishing a part of the fire that had been rekindled. Debbie Huff was surveying the damages when she learned that one of the home owners was receiving treatment at the Burn Center MedStar Washington Hospital Center due to smoke inhalation. Her condition is improving. The fire also claimed the lives of the dogs belonging to the family. Huff said that Jesse Riley, his adult grandson and daughter were at home when the fire broke out. Riley, his daughter, and their grandson were all able to escape the home, but Riley returned to the house to retrieve him. Both the grandson and daughter were released after treatment, according to her.

Adam Hounshell, Assistant Fire Marshal for Frederick County, said on Thursday that the fire began at the rear of the house where the garage is. The fire may have been caused by the holiday decorations that were in the yard. Last year, he said that Christmas lights caused a similar fire. In the release, people are reminded to read “manufacturer labels on decorative light and use extension cords as little as possible.”

A nearby truck and recreational vehicle were also destroyed.

According to the press release, the estimated dollar losses from the fire are $293,187.

Residents have been in contact with the American Red Cross to provide assistance.

Hounshell says that the firefighters didn’t hear any smoke alarms when they entered the house, and therefore he doesn’t know whether the alarms were working.

The release says that smoke alarms need to be checked regularly. Residents of the county who require assistance should call Frederick County Fire Marshal’s Office, 540-665-6350.

The fire was responded to by Millwood Station and Greenwood as well as Stephens City, Round Hill Frederick County Winchester, Clarke County.

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