Fire burns through Woodstock apartment

Crews from Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue and the Woodstock Fire Department responded to a fire in the kitchen of an apartment at 924 Hilltop Drive on Tuesday morning. Jake Zuckerman/Daily

WOODSTOCK – A fire Tuesday morning caused extensive damage to an unoccupied apartment at 924 Hilltop Drive.

Tara Jones, 28, the apartment’s soon-to-be tenant, said she and her boyfriend were set to move in on Jan. 1 with their 2-year-old daughter. They had already moved in everything they owned with the exception of their clothes.

“We have no food, no furniture, no nothing, just clothes,” Jones said as fire crews cleared out the scene.

According to Fire Marshal Dave Ferguson, the fire started just before 10 a.m. when various food products left on the stovetop caught fire after a burner was accidentally turned on.

Bill Streett, operations chief for Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, said although he did not know the specific cause for Tuesday’s fire, the shuffle of people and things in and out of the apartment could have contributed to the mishap.

Firefighters with the Woodstock Fire Department and Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue contained the blaze in the kitchen, but smoke damaged the entirety of the house, most of Jones’ possessions, and the adjoining apartments.

Ferguson said the tenants were not insured.

Jones said most of the building, which had recently been redone, will need renovations. Likewise, many of her personal items and furniture will need to be replaced.

Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Chief Tim Williams said he believes the American Red Cross will be assisting the family.

Jones said any readers looking to donate to her or her family as they rebuild can call her cell phone at 540-481-4135 for more information.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com.