BRYAN CLARK Spirit Staff
CHARLES TOWN – Dozens of firefighters from Jefferson, Berkeley and Loudoun counties responded to a house fire in a residential section of Charles Town at around 1:00 this afternoon. There were no injuries in the fire, though two cats died.
One firefighter was examined by paramedics for heat exhaustion at the scene of the fire, but did not require transportation to the hospital.
The house, at 545 Brooke Street, sustained “significant smoke, water and fire damage,” according to Dan Fritsch, assistant fire chief with Citizens Fire Company.
The call went out at 12:58, and Citizens Volunteer Fire Company was the first to respond at 1:03. They were later joined by unites from Shepherdstown, Blue Ridge, Independent, Bakerton and Middleway volunteer fire companies. Units from Loudoun and Berkeley counties also responded to the incident.
“A single occupant was home [and] saw smoke coming from the basement area,” Fritsch said. “We were met in the street by that occupant advising that there was an elderly male still in the back bedroom, unaccounted for.”
A fire crew entered the home through a side window and searched the house for the man, but he was not located in either the primary or the secondary search.
“It was later learned that he was already out of the structure and accounted for,” Fritsch said, adding that the Red Cross has been contacted to aid the family who occupied the home.
Fritsch said the fire was likely caused by a dryer in the basement.
The smoke detectors in the house were not functional, he said.
Fritsch reminds all residents that they should make sure to regularly check and change the batteries on their smoke detectors.
Reports that fire hydrants had failed while fighting the fire are incorrect, according to Fritsch.