By Katie Demeria
Flames seriously damaged the home of three adults and four children in Edinburg on Thursday.
Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue responded to the 793 Stoneburner Road residence at 12:42 p.m., according to Public Information Officer John Collins.
Nobody was inside the building when rescue workers arrived, though one dog perished as a result of the flames. Authorities were able to save three guinea pigs and one lizard.
The fire spread throughout much of the home's second floor, though some flames reached the attic and first floor.
Firefighters sprayed the higher flames with hoses from below and stood on the front porch roof in order to break down second-floor walls and release smoke.
The home's older construction allowed the fire to spread easily, according to Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Operations Chief Tim Williams.
"This house has a balloon frame construction," Williams said. "The fire gets in the wall and spreads because there is nothing built in there to stop it."
It took several hours for crews to stifle the flames -- units did not start leaving the scene until late Thursday afternoon.
The residents, two women and one man, arrived on the scene as rescue crews continued to put out the fire. Williams said they were able to go inside and gather any salvageable valuables.
"The house was not entirely destroyed, but it will take a long time to make it livable again," Williams said.
The Red Cross was called and will offer assistance to the residents.
Woodstock Fire and Rescue, Edinburg Fire Department, Mount Jackson Fire Department and Toms Brook Fire Department responded to the scene, as well as Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue. The Sheriff's Office arrived on scene to help with traffic control.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org