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Three left homeless in Woodstock area trailer fire

Firefighters battle the smoldering remains of this trailer that caught fire on Stultz Gap Road west of Woodstock on Tuesday. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK – A fire destroyed a trailer and nearby camper at 832 Stultz Gap Drive on Tuesday. No one was injured, but the three-person family was left homeless and all of their belongings were reduced to little more than ash.

The trailer’s owner, Wayne Kipps, 77, said he didn’t notice the fire until he came home from the grocery store around 11 a.m.

He entered the trailer, set his two bags of groceries on the sink, and then looked behind him to see thick, billowing clouds of black smoke.

“I turned around and I seen all this smoke,” Kipps said. “I said, ‘Where in the hell did all of this smoke come from?’ And Betty was over there watching TV, she didn’t even know it was on fire.”

When Kipps alerted his wife, Betty Kipps, 73, to the smoke, the two got out of the structure. They called a warning to their 50-year-old son, Wayne Kipps Jr., who lived in the camper situated adjacent to the trailer, and he escaped, too.

Firefighters pull metal from the remains of the trailer. Rich Cooley/Daily

No one was hurt and the family was able to rescue their two dogs, but they were forced to leave behind two pet parrots, who perished in the fire.

Shenandoah County Fire Marshal Dave Ferguson said the fire was likely caused by an overloaded extension cord in the rear bedroom.

The Red Cross is providing them temporary shelter and aid.

Lt. James Lanman, of the Edinburg Fire Department, led the firefighting operation with assistance from other area fire departments.

Anyone wishing to help the family should contact Jackie Cooper at 540-335-8501.

Firefighters poke through the burning debris of the trailer. Rich Cooley/Daily

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