By Katie Demeria
A chimney fire damaged a residence in Mount Jackson on Monday, displacing a family of three adults.
Firefighters arrived at 269 Orkney Drive shortly after 4:57 a.m., after a male resident woke to find smoke inside his home and called in the emergency.
Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Bill Streett noted that the fire at first was thought to be due to an electrical issues, "but it became clear that it was actually caused by a fire in the chimney.
"It was an older house, so unfortunately there was some structural deficiencies with the chimney that allowed the fire to escape into adjacent walls."
Though a family of three lived in the house, only a man and woman were home at the time of the fire.
"The house was actually being rented," Streett said. "They had only been in there for about a month or so. The property is owned by a person who lives out of the state."
Because of the extent of the damage, the occupants were put in contact with the Red Cross and are receiving assistance in terms of an initial residence, Streett said.
The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes of firefighters' arrival. Shenndoah Couny Fire and Rescue, Mount Jackson Fire and Rescue, New Market Fire and Rescue, and Edinburg Fire Department responded.
Streett warned that, because so many people are using alternate means of heating their homes during this time of year, having chimneys checked and maintained is very important, as is having a smoke detector in every home.
"The house did not have any working smoke detector in it, and this is a good opportunity to remind folks of the importance of having one," Streett said.
The resident was fortunate, Streett said, to wake up in time to get out of the house.
He added that should anyone in the community not have the means to provide their home with a smoke detector, Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue has a program that offers them to the public.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org