Man killed in house fire
An early Monday morning house fire at 196 Youngblood Road south of Great Cacapon had one fatality.
Passersby called in the fire to the 911 center at 5:11 a.m., said Lieutenant Mike Kidwell of the Great Cacapon Volunteer Fire Company. The fire call was dispatched at 5:15 a.m. Firefighters got to the scene at 5:26 a.m., said Kidwell.
When firefighters arrived at the fire, they found the structure completely on the ground. The house was a total loss, he said. The home was a two-story wooden farmhouse that was built in the 1800s, said Kidwell. The cause of the fire is undetermined, he said.
The name of the deceased can't be released at this time, said Kidwell. They are waiting for notification of the next of kin and an autopsy report to verify the identity of the victim. The person that was killed in the fire lived alone, he said.
"It's a sad situation," said Kidwell of the fatality.
The people that called in the fire originally thought it was a brush fire until they drove back toward the fire and discovered that it was a house burning, he said.
It was dark and a little foggy from last night's rain at the time, he said. The glow of the fire was hard to see through the leaves and people traveling at that hour in the other direction wouldn't have noticed it, said Kidwell.
Firefighters from Great Cacapon, Paw Paw, Berkeley Springs, South Morgan and Hancock Volunteer Fire Departments and the Great Cacapon First Responder Unit responded to the fire. There were no injuries to firefighters on the scene.
South Morgan responded but they were cancelled en route since the structure was already down and they had enough units on the scene, said Kidwell. Hancock sent one fire engine unit to their station for standby, he said.
Morgan County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Vince Shambaugh and State Fire Marshall Ed Robinson investigated the scene. Morgan County Coroner Steve McBee, Sheriff's Deputy Tim Johnson and Allegheny Power also assisted at the fire scene.
Firefighters were on the scene for nearly six hours with the coroner and fire marshal, said Kidwell. There were some hot spots, but the rain kept them from spreading, he said. They were back at the station and available at about 11:55 a.m., Kidwell said.