CLEAR BROOK — The cause of a fire that destroyed a house at 224 View West Lane on Saturday is under investigation.

A driver passing the house on Intestate 81 called 911 at 3:34 a.m. The house was engulfed in flames and most of the structure had collapsed when firefighters arrived at 3:49 a.m., according to a Monday email from Chief Stephen Majchrzak of the Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department.

Because no one was home, firefighters adopted a defensive posture. Due to the intensity of the fire and no  fire hydrant in the area, Majchrzak said the fire took about an hour to extinguish. The fire caused about $300,000 in damage. No injuries were reported.

A resident of the home received assistance from the American Red Cross Shenandoah Valley chapter. Majchrzak, who expressed appreciation to the driver for calling authorities, said fire marshals haven't determined where the fire began or how it started. 

The one-floor, cinder block and vinyl home was built in 2005, according to county property records.  Charles L. Shifflett Jr. is listed as the owner of the 1,560-square-foot home. The value of the home and property is assessed at $326,000. 

— Contact Evan Goodenow at egoodenow@winchesterstar.com

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