Fire engulfs home Sunday

This residence on Beechtown Road was already fully engulfed when a neighbor spotted it and called 911.

FRENCH CREEK — A fire destroyed a home in Southern Upshur County early Sunday morning but no injuries were reported.

The Adrian Volunteer Fire Department, Banks District Volunteer Fire Department and Buckhannon Fire Department responded to the call  at 339 Beechtown Rd. at 8:57 a.m., according to Adrian fire chief Rick Harlow.

“A neighbor just happened to look at her window and saw it was on fire,” Harlow said.

The neighbor knew the resident had been staying at the house and so there was some concern that the man was still inside the fully engulfed house at first, according to the fire chief. The call was paged out that there was possible entrapment.

“He showed up on scene probably within half an hour of us getting there,” he said.

The home was fully involved when the neighbor reported the fire and still fully involved when firefighters began arriving on scene 12 minutes later.

“We mounted what we call a defensive attack,” Harlow said. “It was all from the outside until get could get it knocked down.”

The home has been declared a total loss but what caused the fire has not been determined.

“When there is that much damage, it’s hard to tell exactly where the fire started and the cause,” Harlow said.

Sometimes, the fire marshal’s office cannot determine that either but the fire has been turned over to their office.

“We’re not saying it’s suspicious,” he said. “It’s just standard procedure if we can’t readily figure out what happened.”

With three departments paged out per protocol for structure fires, there was enough manpower, according to Harlow. “It worked out pretty good,” he said. “Upshur County EMS also responded to do rehab on our firefighters. After they go through one air bottle, they have to go to the rehab for EMS to check them out. If their heart rate is up a little bit, they sit there for a little bit. This is standard procedure.”

Firefighters remained on scene almost 3 ½ hours with Adrian returning to station at 12:33 p.m.

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