Family loses everything in house fire
Fire destroyed a home off River Road in Berkeley Springs last week. Jim and Cindy Smalley and family lost everything in the fire. No one was home at the time of the fire.
The fire call came in on Tuesday, May 25 at 3:40 p.m. for 380 Culvert Trail, said Captain Jared Waugh of the Berkeley Springs Volunteer Fire Company.
Units from Hancock Volunteer Fire Company were first on the scene at 3:50 p.m., with Berkeley Springs fire units arriving around 3:53 p.m., he said.
Hancock firefighters found the whole house engulfed in flames, Waugh said. The structure had caved into the basement and was burning down there.
Some grass that was right next to the home also caught fire, but the fire didn’t spread. The driveway encircled the house and would’ve acted as a firebreak and kept it from getting to the woods, he said.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined, pending further investigation. Waugh said he was on the scene with West Virginia Assistant Fire Marshal Patrick Barker last Wednesday morning while Barker conducted his preliminary investigation.
It was difficult to tell the point of origin of the fire with so much damage, Waugh said. The home was a double-wide with vinyl siding with a full basement. It was a total loss, he said. Estimated damages were still being calculated.
Units from Berkeley Springs, Hancock, Great Cacapon, South Morgan, Needmore and Orleans Volunteer Fire Companies responded to the blaze.
Morgan County Rescue Service and the Washington County Rehab Unit also
were on the scene. Units were there for nearly four hours, he said. There were no injuries to firefighters.
The Morgan County Extension Office has set up a fund to help the Smalley family. Cindy Smalley has been their 4-H program assistant for 10 years and has also been a 4-H parent.
Checks can be made out to the Smalley Family Fire Fund and sent to CNB Bank, Inc., c/o Becky Stotler, P.O. Box 130, Berkeley Springs, W.Va., 25411.
Cards and letters of support can be sent to Morgan County Extension, 129 Fairfax Street, Berkeley Springs, W.Va. 25411.