Man found dead in New Market inn

A man was found dead at the New Market Blue Ridge Inn on Sunday afternoon, according to Major Scott Proctor of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office.

Proctor said that John Frank Hagerman, 62, appears to have been “from the area” and had been living at the inn “for some time.”

The owner of Blue Ridge Inn called 911 at noon on Sunday after discovering Hagerman.

“The victim in this case was found slouched over with no signs of life,” Proctor said.

“I think that he had been deceased for some time, probably a day or so,” Proctor said, adding he believes Hagerman was last seen alive on “the fifth or the sixth [of February.]”

Proctor added, “At this time, it appears that there is no sign that there was foul play.”

The medical examiner’s office had been contacted and Proctor said they will “perform a follow-up” once they receive the results. “It’s still pending investigation.”

Also on Sunday:

An electrical fire at an apartment on Massanutten St. in Strasburg displaced three residents Sunday afternoon.

The building in question has two units and the fire occurred second floor in the attic space, according to Bradley Polk, captain of the Strasburg Fire Department.

Polk said the fire “was electrical. There was wire in the attic that shorted out and caught the insulation and wood framing on fire.”

The fires, Polk said, was concentrated in that small area.

“One of the occupants was home and saw the smoke from the room and contacted dispatchers,” Polk said.

Dispatchers received the call “minutes before noon” on Sunday and “the last unit cleared from the scene at 1:56 p.m.,” Polk added.

Strasburg Fire Department, Middletown Fire Department and Toms Brook Fire and Rescue responded to the incident, according to Polk.

Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue and Strasburg Police Department were also on-hand to provide traffic control.

The area of Massanutten St. between King St. to North St. was closed off for the duration that crews were on-site.

Crews were able to get the fire was under control in fifteen minutes, but Polk said they remained on-scene performing overhaul that included inspecting the building insulation.

“With the amount of insulation … we wanted to make sure that no embers spread,” Polk said.

“There wasn’t that much smoke in the living area of the apartment,” Polk said, adding that all of the building’s inhabitants had to be displaced “due to the electrical issues of the apartment.”

According to Polk, all three residents received assistance from the American Red Cross Winchester branch.

“We called them because they indicated that they had no other place that they could go,” Polk noted.

Polk explained, “With the wiring being old, it was just not possible to keep the power on for the downstairs unit.”

According to Polk, the apartment building received no damage to the exterior and that the building will be fit for occupation after it receives an electrical upgrade.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or

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