Two more fires take a toll in Warren County

Firefighters in Warren County continued scrambling Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning as one fire leveled a small house and another caused extensive damage to an apartment building.

The fires were the sixth and seventh during a 48-hour period in Warren County as of mid-Wednesday afternoon. Unlike the first five, the latest incidents do not appear to have been related to cold weather.

Fire Chief Richard E. Mabie said firefighters were dispatched around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to the Shenandoah Farms area where an A-frame house was enveloped in smoke and flames by the time they arrived.

Firefighters worked in extreme cold to bring the fire quickly under control, Mabie said. He described the home, which was vacant at the time, as a total loss and estimated the value at $36,000.

The fire was caused by a malfunctioning light fixture in the crawl space, fire officials said.

Firefighters answered a second call at 4:30 a.m. at an apartment building at 708 W. 11th St. in Front Royal. Mabie said at least five occupants were evacuating the burning building as firefighters arrived. The fire was contained and quickly extinguished.

Mabie estimated damage to the building at $30,000, mainly to four apartments. Firefighters also shut off electricity to the building.

“Right now, it’s uninhabitable, but we’re not talking about it being totally destroyed or anything like that,” Mabie said of the building.

Mabie said the second fire was caused by deteriorated wiring in the attic.

The Red Cross provided shelter and other assistance to some of those displaced by the fire, Mabie said.

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