By Joe Beck
A fire that destroyed an agricultural storage building at 2181 Laurel Grove Road on Thursday has been ruled accidental by Frederick County assistant fire marshal Kenneth Scott.
"It was accidental from a malfunctioning appliance," Scott said of the fire in an interview Friday.
Scott said in a news release that the building and its contents were a total loss. He estimated the damage at more than $400,000.
The news release described the building as "fully engulfed in flames" by the time fire and rescue crews reached the scene at 10:56 a.m.
No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.
Scott described the building as a 40-by-80 foot pole barn building with contents that included all "kinds of tractors, farm implements, a couple of bulldozers and four-wheelers."
"It was really the only building on the farm," Scott said.
He said the appliance that started the fire was was a small refrigerator of the type commonly found in college dormitory rooms.
Members of fire and rescue units from Stephens City, Star Tannery, Middletown, Clear Brook, Round Hill, Gainsboro, North Mountain and Frederick County Battalion 10 brought most of the fire under control within about 20 minutes, Scott said. They remained on the scene for an additional 4/12 hours, he said.