Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue members responded to a fire in New Market over the weekend, doing their best to salvage a home that went up in flames after the occupant left a candle unattended.

Bill Streett, deputy fire chief for Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue, said a call came into the 911 center just after 5 a.m. on Saturday and units responded within minutes. When they arrived, Streett said the occupant had already evacuated and they reported “heavy fire conditions on the side of the house.”

Streett said fire and rescue had the fire under control by 5:52 a.m. with the help of squads from New Market Fire and Rescue; Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire; Timberville Fire Volunteer Fire Department and support from the New Market Police Department and Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office directing traffic.

Fire and rescue personnel evaluated the sole occupant of the home for smoke inhalation but he refused further treatment and transportation to the hospital, Streett said.

The man did try to put out the fire before calling fire and rescue, Streett said. The man told fire and rescue personnel the fire started in the living room when a candle caught either a couch cushion or the upholstery on a couch nearby, Streett said.

The cause of the fire was accidental, Streett said.

After sustaining heavy smoke and fire damage, the Red Cross came to assist the occupant, providing him with clothing and temporary lodging, Streett said.

Streett said he was unsure about the extent of the damages but estimated the cost to be at least $85,000.

He said he did not know if anything in the home could be recovered due to the “extensive damage throughout the interior of the house.”

– Contact Max Thornberry at