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Heat lamp linked to garage fire

Daily staff report

A heat lamp used to warm livestock sparked a blaze that destroyed a garage and threatened a Warren County home Wednesday morning, fire officials said.

The fire also created hazards for the several crews on the scene at 501 Wildcat Drive off Howellsville Road, according to Chief Richard Mabie of the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

Flames caused two propane tanks near the garage to explode, turning the cylinders into projectiles, Mabie stated in a news release. Firefighters also worked around downed power lines until Rappahannock Electric Cooperative crews arrived to cut the power, the release stated.

The fire was dispatched at 9:04 a.m. Firefighters began arriving approximately 10 minutes later to find the garage engulfed in flames that spread from the structure to the adjacent home, Mabie stated. Firefighters attacked the extension into the home and then extinguished the fire in the garage. Crews brought the fire under control in 15 minutes.

The heat lamp was placed too close to hay and straw housing chickens in the rear section of the garage, Mabie stated in the news release. The fire melted shutters on the adjacent home, ignited siding and broke windows, according to Mabie.

No injuries by firefighters or residents nor loss of livestock were reported.

The fire marshal declared the garage a loss and estimated the damage to the structure, home and contents at $30,000.

Owners Alex and Kristen Primdahl were not at home when the fire started. Kristen Primdahl discovered the fire when she returned home after taking their child to school, according to Mabie.

Fire officials used the incident as a reminder that residents should keep heating sources, such as lamps for pets and livestock or hot ashes from fireplaces and wood stoves, away from combustible material.

Contact the fire administration office at 636-3830 for more information on winter safety and smoke alarms.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com


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