Home design arrests fire

WASHINGTON, W.Va. – A Tuesday afternoon structure fire at 128 Stonegate Drive in Washington, W.Va., resulted in no injuries, officials said.

Firefighters received a call about the home at 3:58 p.m., according to reports from the Wood County 911 Center.

The home, owned by Shawn Sandy, had been vacant since 9:30 a.m., said Washington Bottom Volunteer Fire Department Chief K.C. Linder.

When Sandy returned home around 4 p.m., he opened the door to find smoke in the home and the windows black, Linder said.

“Black windows is a sign that there has been a fire, but there wasn’t enough oxygen for it to keep burning,” Linder said.

The home, estimated at 2,800 square feet, is a modern construction which features an air-tight design, Linder said. This design deprived the fire of oxygen and forced it to smolder rather than spread, he said. No estimate of damage was available Tuesday evening.

Firefighters discovered a wall of an internal room in the basement was burning when they arrived, Linder said.

“When we entered the room, the wall was in the final stages of oxygen deprivation. The fire was pretty well out. But as soon as we opened the room and oxygen got in again, it flared back up suddenly,” Linder said.

Firefighters used portable water and foam tanks to contain the fire and keep water damage inside the home to a minimum, he said.

The cause of the fire was determined to be an electrical arc in the burning wall, Linder said. The arc was still active when firefighters put out the surrounding fire.

The home suffered heat and smoke damage throughout, but the fire damage was mostly contained to the interior basement room where the fire originated, Linder said.

A total of 18 firefighters from Washington Bottom Volunteer Fire Department, Blennerhassett Volunteer Fire Department, and Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department battled the fire, Linder said.

“We three units work well as a mutual aid group,” Linder said. “We had this many firefighters, several engines, pumpers, and ladder trucks on scene within 10 minutes of the call,” he said.