Dog may have saved girl in fire

Posted: December 28, 2013

The Winchester Star

GAINESBORO — A mobile home on Siler Road is likely a total loss after a Thursday fire, Frederick County Assistant Fire Marshal Billy Pifer said on Friday.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, he added.

“It was pretty extensive damage to what would be the kitchen area of that trailer, but there’s also a lot of smoke and heat damage throughout the entire trailer,” Pifer said. “I’m not an insurance adjuster, but it’s probably going to be a total loss.”

Raymond Watson, disaster services manager for the American Red Cross, said the family renting the trailer at 1960 Siler Road has been placed in a motel temporarily.

“They pretty much lost everything,” he said.

Pifer said one person was at home when the fire began. “She was asleep, and she was actually alerted by her pets, as opposed to a smoke detector. She said her dog was barking.”

The teenager was able to get out of the trailer with the family’s two dogs. A cat was unaccounted for on Thursday evening.

Pifer said no working smoke detector was found in the residence.

The fire apparently started in the kitchen area, he said, and was confined to that section, but the rest of the mobile home sustained smoke and water damage.

The fire was reported at 3:42 p.m., with units from the Gainesboro, Reynolds Store and Round Hill volunteer fire and rescue companies responding.

Gainesboro Fire and Rescue Chief Don Jackson said the blaze was under control within a few minutes.

Pifer urged all homeowners to ensure that they have working smoke detectors and to check the batteries regularly.

Watson said the Red Cross was helping three families who have been the victims of residential fires in the last two weeks.

Anyone wishing to help can send a donation to the local Red Cross at 561 Fortress Drive, Winchester, Va. 22601.

— Contact Val Van Meter at