A Morgan County, W.Va., house was destroyed by fire Saturday afternoon.
Berkeley Springs Fire Chief Todd Ruppenthal said when the first crews arrived at 39 Suba Drive, they found three-quarters of the roof and about half of the house on fire. Propane tanks were exploding, and shotgun shells inside the house were discharging.
About 30 firefighters from seven departments started to attack the blaze from outside the single-story house. They used tanker trucks to haul water from a hydrant at Dawson’s Home Center about two miles away.
The wood-frame house in a development off Tabor Road was a total loss, Ruppenthal said.
People reported seeing smoke from as far away as Hancock when the fire was reported at 12:19 p.m., he said.
The homeowner, whose name the fire chief did not know, was at a neighbor’s house when he heard a noise. He looked toward his own home and saw the fire, Ruppenthal said.
No one was inside the house, he said.
Emergency medical crews treated three firefighters at the scene for heat exhaustion, Ruppenthal said.
“They all did an excellent job with what we had to work with,” he said.
The wind shifted during the 30 to 40 minutes it took to knock down the fire, Ruppenthal said.
“It was a mess,” he said.
Fire ignited grass and woods around the house, but spared a smaller house about 200 yards away, Ruppenthal said.
A fire marshal reportedly told Ruppenthal he would not investigate the fire’s cause because too much of the house was gone. Wiring had melted.
“It looked to me like it started in the front of the house,” Ruppenthal said, saying he believes it might have been an electrical fire.