Fire damages historic house

Strasburg firefighters sort through the smoldering debris of a historic Bentonville home Tuesday afternoon. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – A historic 1850s Bentonville house suffered extensive damage Tuesday.

Warren County Fire and Rescue units were dispatched about 2:20 p.m. to 3609 Buck Mountain Road in response to a house engulfed in flames, Fire Chief Richard Mabie said.

Mabie said upon arrival the fire had spread through two floors and the attic. It took about 20 minutes for crews to extinguish the majority of the flames.

Residents George and Michelle Kopcsak were not home at the time of the fire but several animals were in the house, Mabie said.

Ron Miller, a neighbor, said two dogs and a cat survived the fire, but a parrot died. One cat was unaccounted for.

Warren County firefighter/EMTs Tim Mawyer, left, and Terrance Banks, right, shed their gear after an interior fight of the fire. Rich Cooley/Daily

Mabie said the fire is under investigation and its cause is unknown. It is believed to have originated in a backyard work shed and spread to the house through the windows.

Mabie said four rooms over two floors were gutted, but there is some hope for the house. He noted that he has seen historic homes that suffered more damage and the owners were able to salvage them. 

Every Warren County station responded to the fire, along with units from Luray, Strasburg and Middletown.

Crews were still on the scene at 4 p.m., and Mabie said he expected to stay on site for about two more hours.

A firefighter works from a ladder to feed a fire hose into the attic area of this Bentonville home on Buck Mountain Road. Rich Cooley/Daily

Warren County Fire and Rescue Capt. Raymond Cross grabs a piece of smoldering debris from the back deck of the home. Rich Cooley/Daily

A Front Royal volunteer firefighter douses the home's back deck. Rich Cooley/Daily