By Alex Bridges
STEPHENS CITY -- A house fire left one man burned and forced a family of six from their Frederick County home Friday.
Crews responded to the blaze at 675 White Oak Road near Stephens City shortly after noon, according to a news release from the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department. The house lies among several along a tight S turn in the road. Firefighters arrived to find flames coming from a room in the front, right side of the house, said Tim Vaught, rescue deputy chief with the Stephens City Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company.
Firefighters knocked down the blaze in approximately 15 minutes, Vaught said.
The Fire Marshal's office determined the "improper extinguishment of smoking materials" cause the blaze, according to the release. The fire remained confined to the one room, though smoke and water also damaged other parts of the house, Vaught said. The Fire Marshal's office said the house was a total loss.
A man who lives in the residence suffered mild to moderate burns and rescue workers took him by ambulance to Winchester Medical Center for treatment, according to Vaught. The victim's status late Friday afternoon was not known. No firefighters reported injuries.
Lorrie Rhoton, program director with the Top of Virginia Red Cross, arrived and began the process of finding temporary shelter for the family. Neither the Red Cross nor fire officials provided the victims' names. Rhoton did identify a woman who arrived at the scene and began to cry as the mother of the children who live at the house. Neighbors and relatives walked over to console her.
The woman continued to show emotion as Rhoton rushed to finish the process to find a hotel room for the family. Rhoton explained she wanted to secure the room in time for the mother to pick up the children from school and take them to the hotel so they wouldn't have to see the fire damage to the home.
A neighbor who did not give her name told the Daily the woman's youngest child was at home when the fire started but was taken out of the house along with the male victim. She credited the burn victim's brother with pulling the occupants from the house.
Emergency dispatchers received multiple calls reporting the fire, according to Vaught.
Firefighters also revived a pet dog found in the house that had suffered smoke inhalation, Vaught said. The firefighters used equipment to resuscitate the dog. Frederick County Sheriff's Office animal control deputies took the dog to the local shelter.
Units from Stephens City, Middletown, Millwood, Round Hill and Clear Brook volunteer fire and rescue squads responded to the incident as did crews from Rouss and Friendship volunteer fire and rescue stations in Winchester and Boyce Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company in Clarke County. The Frederick County Battalion 10 Duty Officer and the Fire Marshal's Office also responded. Sheriff's Office deputies also blocked traffic in both directions while crews fought the blaze and extinguished any smoldering areas in the house.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org