By Katie Demeria
The Shenandoah County Fire Marshal is working with the Sheriff's Office to investigate what caused the fire that severely damaged a Maurertown residence early Sunday morning.
Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue responded to the fire at 24771 Old Valley Pike at 3:10 a.m., according to Chief Gary Yew.
No occupants were in the home at the time, Yew said.
"Of course, at that time of morning, a lot of times fires go undetected for quite a while, and we think that was the case with this particular incident," he said. "There was heavy fire involvement of the structure when they first arrived on scene."
Firefighters did a good job of knocking the flames down, he continued, but renovations complicated their efforts.
"A lot of times when there are renovations and changes to floor plans in the home, fire travels into voids and spaces we're not aware of," Yew said. "Getting to that part of the fire did prove to be a challenge for us."
The bulk of the fire was under control within 30 minutes, he added. After assessing the safety of the structure, crews then entered the residence and began fighting the pockets of fire remaining within.
They spent a total of five hours on scene.
"The rest of the fire was spent really in what we call overhaul, pulling ceilings and getting into voids where the fire had traveled, which gets to be pretty heavy, nasty work for firefighters," Yew said.
A passing motorist reported the blaze to the dispatch center, he said. Though no resident was in the home at the time of the fire, Yew said it had been occupied for multiple months.
Yew added that Fire Marshal David Ferguson has assembled numerous individuals with the Sheriff's Office to investigate the cause of the fire.
Toms Brook Fire Department, Woodstock Fire Department, Strasburg Fire Department and Strasburg Rescue also responded to the incident.
Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or email@example.com