Chimney fire displaces two
Posted: February 18, 2013
The Winchester Star
STEPHENSON — A Frederick County rental home was heavily damaged by fire Sunday afternoon, and the two men who live there were able to save their pets and musical instruments but little else.
The blaze broke out in the two-story structure at 786 Payne Road about 3:30 p.m.
After detecting smoke, occupants Brian Francis and Graham Horne were able to get their two dogs, six puppies and an assortment of musical instruments to safety.
Francis smelled the smoke first. When Horne went upstairs, he saw flames coming through the wall next to the chimney.
The two men called 911 and collected their pets and a few items and left the house for the cold, windy outdoors.
Within 10 minutes, Horne said, flames were consuming the second floor and coming out from under the roof eaves.
“It went quick,” he said.
Horne said he and Francis rented the old farmhouse from Judy and Glen Russell.
Lt. Will Catlett of Frederick County Fire and Rescue said Clear Brook, Gainesboro and Round Hill fire and rescue companies battled the fire, with help from Boyce Fire and Rescue in Clarke County, which sent a tanker truck. Tankers from two fire companies in Berkeley County, W.Va., also were on the scene because there was not water on the site.
The tankers ferried water to the fire from the nearest hydrant at Stonewall Industrial Park.
Firefighters were on the scene about three hours.
The cause of the blaze had not been determined as of Sunday afternoon. Damage estimates had not been determined either.
A greenhouse containing orchids and an artist’s painting studio was destroyed by fire Sunday night in Frederick County.
Flames quickly engulfed the plastic-covered structure at 603 Maple Trail about 9 p.m.
The greenhouse belonged to Waylon Chuang, who lives in a house next door. Despite whipping winds and below-freezing temperatures, his home escaped damage.
Chuang, an artist, said the greenhouse was heated by a woodstove. He said he tried to retrieve seven paintings from the burning structure but was unable to. His artwork, art supplies and orchids were lost to the fire.
North Mountain Fire and Rescue Company Chief Josh Taylor said the blaze was extinguished in about 10 minutes.
Round Hill, Gore and Gainesboro fire and rescue companies also responded to the scene.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
—Contact Val Van Meter at email@example.com