House fire takes lives of three pets

Warren County firefighter Tony Hitt douses the living room furniture of this home that was heavily damaged by fire around noon on Monday in Front Royal. Two dogs and one cat died in the fire. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – A fire on Monday left a house with extensive damage and three pets dead from heavy smoke.

Firefighters called to the scene at 111 McLendon St. worked through temperatures in the low teens before the fire was extinguished shortly after noon.

Fire Chief Richard E. Mabie said the cold weather froze water and made it hard to keep firefighting equipment working properly.

“With weather like this, it doesn’t take long for stuff to freeze and start wearing people out,” Mabie said.

Firefighters were called out at 11:41 a.m. and arrived on the scene at 11:45. Mabie said the fire was concentrated in the living room, but smoke damaged the remainder of the building’s rooms. Furniture and other household items soggy with rapidly freezing water sat outside the house on the front lawn as firefighters removed other debris from the charred interior.

Firefighters move furniture outside of this home on 111 McLendon St. in Front Royal. Fire damaged the home on Monday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Mabie estimated the total amount of damage at $10,000.

The living room is pretty much shot,” Mabie said. “The rest of the house was damaged by smoke and heat.”

No one was home when the fire broke out, but two dogs and a cat trapped inside died from smoke inhalation, Mabie said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Mabie said it appeared to have been ignited by wood or other combustible items placed too close to a wood stove.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com