Fire destroys house near Middletown

A pet cat alerted a sleeping couple who fled to safety early Tuesday morning as fire destroyed their house near Middletown.

Fire Chief Richard E. Mabie, of the Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue, said crews from Warren, Frederick and Shenandoah counties were dispatched at 1:27 a.m. to the home of Joseph and Tiffany Filerman at 443 Long Meadow Road.

Firefighters arrived to find a heavy fire in the doors and windows of the single story home. Fire had also spread through the roof.

Firefighters brought the fire under control after about an hour and remained on the scene until the fire was completely extinguished by about 5:30 a.m.

Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico reported that the fire began with a charcoal grill in the front porch and deck area and spread into the roof and interior of the house. No injuries were reported. Mabie estimated damage to the house and contents at $150,000.

Mabie said the Filermans reported that their pet cat awakened them before the fire activated the home’s smoke detectors.

“The cat jumped on them and then took off running through the house,” Mabie said.

Mabie said the couple’s dog made it safely out of the house with them but the cat is missing and its condition unknown.

The firefighting units dispatched to the incident were Frederick County companies 12, 11, 21, 17, Warren companies 10, 1, 4 and Strasburg 51.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or


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