Local fire being investigated as possible arson

Warren County police and fire officials are investigating a possible arson fire that burned down a log cabin at 5011 Browntown Road in Front Royal on Dec. 16, Gerry Maiatico, fire marshal with Warren County Fire and Rescue Services, said Tuesday.

“Through the fire investigation and fire scene examination, we have determined that accidental fire causes [can] be ruled out,” Maiatico said.

On Dec. 29, the fire marshal’s office put out a message on Facebook asking residents with information to assist.

Maiatico said firefighters responded to a call from a passerby at 5:33 p.m. and arrived on scene fairly quickly.

“Fire suppression crews encountered very difficult access [to the house],” Maiatico said. “There was no paved or gravel driveway or access road leading to this cabin.”

The cabin, Maiatico noted, was pretty much destroyed as a result of the fire. He added that it took fire crews two hours to get the flames under control.

Maiatico said fire crews were on the scene for four hours “performing fire suppression, overhaul and assisting with the investigation.”

He said the fire was tightly contained within the structure of the abandoned building. As a result, no wildlife or surrounding environment were significantly harmed.

Although the cabin had been abandoned, Maiatico explained that another house, which was being remodeled and was vacant at the time of the fire, sits “maybe 150 or 200 feet” from the cabin.

Maiatico confirmed that, since posting the notice on Facebook, he has received “some information that will assist in the investigation,” but that they are still looking for more information.

Fire and Rescue is urging residents with information to call Maiatico at 540-636-3830 or Lt. Gordon Foster with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 540-635-7100.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com