First arriving crew was able to save some of the family's Christmas presents.
SUMMIT POINT - Firefighters were working into the evening Wednesday to try to quell a fire that nearly destroyed a home in Jefferson County, leaving a couple without a roof over their heads.
The call reporting the fire at 123 Quail Run Road, located within the Quail Run Subdivision, was received at 4:23 p.m., fire officials said at the scene.
A woman inside the home was able escape the blaze without injury; however, a cat within the residence perished, said Ed Hannon, deputy director of the Jefferson County Emergency Services Agency.
Submitted photo by Ken Hawthorne
Fire rages from a home in Jefferson County Wednesday.
"We had a fire that started in the garage. A lady on the second floor was awoken by neighbors knocking on the door, telling her that the house was on fire. She got out. By the time the first units arrived on the scene, the house was fully involved," Hannon said at the scene.
The cause of the fire had not yet been determined. The fire spread throughout the entirety of the house with the exception of a small room and deck on the back side of the multi-story home. A man, woman, two dogs and the cat resided at the home, Hannon said.
The Red Cross was contacted to offer assistance to the affected homeowners.
"Evidently, the couple that lived here had only been here just less than a year," Hannon said.
Dozens of firefighters from Jefferson County, as well as firefighters from Loudoun County, Va., and Clarke County, Va., responded to the scene. Chief Donnie Lanham from the Independent Fire Co. was the incident commander.
Ladder trucks from the Citizens Fire Co. and Clarke County's John H. Enders Fire Co. and Rescue Squad sprayed water from above the residence, while firefighters on the ground worked for well over an hour to try to bring the large fire under control. Thick, white smoke bellowed from the burned out home as the fire still smoldered, and the charred husk of a destroyed car could be seen parked near the burning residence.
"There is still active fire, as you can see throughout. When the fire gets this far advanced, it takes quite a while to get it out. We'll be here probably another two or three hours," said Hannon, who also expected firefighters would have to return later Wednesday evening to quell any remaining hot spots or rekindles.
No firefighters were reported injured as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.
A number of tanker trucks responded to assist at the scene, because there was no water supply within the subdivison. Fire units shuttled water to the scene from a site several miles away in order to fight the fire.
The first firefighters at the scene went on an aggressive exterior defensive attack, because of concerns regarding a propane cylinder located on the back side of the house, Hannon said.
"The initial concern was that the propane tank was full. The first hose line went around back to protect the propane tank from becoming involved in the fire. They were able to contain the fire to the front of the house that had already been burned off to keep the fire from getting to that back room and on the back side of the deck where the propane cylinder is," Hannon said.
The defensive position allowed firefighters to stop the fire from spreading to the back room and the propane tank. Hannon said firefighters were at least able to save some Christmas presents from the fire after initially arriving.
"We did make an aggressive exterior attack. There was one room in the back where the Christmas tree was and presents, and we were able to get some of the presents to the backyard and save them from the fire. The rest was a total loss," Hannon said. "It's a tragic thing that's happened, but because of the aggressive actions of the first arriving crew, they saved some of the presents."