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Fire destroys Toms Brook residence

Shenandoah County Fire Marshal David Ferguson, left, photographs the front porch of this Toms Brook home that was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning while Bill Streett, deputy training officer for Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, looks on. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Shenandoah County Fire Marshal David Ferguson, left, walks outside a home destroyed by fire Wednesday on Roberts Road in the Hope Valley subdivision in Toms Brook. The homeowner, center, and his cocker spaniel escaped unharmed. Fire officials say an exterior light and a bird's nest sparked the blaze. Bill Streett, deputy training officer for Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, at right, assisted with the investigation. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

Bill Streett, Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue deputy training officer, left, and Shenandoah County Fire Marshal David Ferguson inspect the front porch of this Toms Brook home that was destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

By Katie Demeria

TOMS BROOK -- Birds nesting in an exterior light may have caused a fire that destroyed a Roberts Road residence early Wednesday morning.

Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department was the first to respond to the blaze, said Chief Jason Shipe.

"When we got there, it was fully involved and the roof had collapsed in," Shipe said. "The homeowner was trying to put it out before he called 911."

Crews were called to the scene at 36 Roberts Road at 12:12 a.m.

Both the house and contents within were a total loss, according to a news release.

The release noted the occupant "was watching TV when he heard crackling and saw a glow out the window."

It added that both the occupant and his dog escaped without harm.

Fire Marshal David Ferguson, according to the release, said birds nesting in an exterior light likely caused the blaze.

Shipe said the flames were under control within 30 minutes. He said the wind was a big factor in fighting the fire.

"The wind was pretty good last night," he said. "We had a little bit of exposure on the house beside it, on the roof, but nothing major."

He said his crew had a quick response time, as well, arriving within seven to eight minutes of the initial call.

Both Strasburg and Woodstock Fire Departments also responded, according to the release.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

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