Fire in Front Royal house likely ‘a total loss’

Warren County firefighters put out the final flames that destroyed a house at 1055 Riverview Shores Drive in Front Royal Wednesday Night. Lewis Millholland/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – A fire destroyed a Front Royal house at 1055 Riverview Shores Drive Wednesday night. Warren County Fire and  Rescue Services Chief Richard Mabie estimated the fire would constitute “a total loss.”

Kenny Nicol, 63, of Luray, first discovered the fire when he came by to visit an occupant.

He said there were four dogs in the house: two Chihuahuas, a lab and a mixed breed. Nicol said he ran into the house to try to rescue the dogs before calling 911.

“I opened the door, and I was trying to get to them, and I couldn’t. It was so smoky. I couldn’t get to them. So I tried that door, this door, and every door. I just couldn’t breathe,” Nicol said.

Mabie said at the scene that the cause of the fire had yet to be determined, but was “pretty confident” the fire started in the back room of the house where multiple space heaters were located in an added-on living room by the porch.

The roof of the addition was tied into the existing structure’s roof, which helped spread the fire more quickly through the rest of the house. The only area to escape significant damage was the basement.

“There’s a lot of structural damage where (the fire) came through the back of the house,” Mabie said.

Firefighters found three of the dogs in the front bedroom, all of which had succumbed to the smoke.’