[cleeng_content id="272233268" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]CHARLES TOWN – Two houses in the Huntfield subdivision were ravaged by a fire over the weekend that firefighters say was made worse by high winds.
The fire, which also inflicted minor damage on a third home, began shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday.
“There was an incredible amount of wind, and the direction of the wind made it so the fire was going from one house to the next,” said Lt. John Considine of Citizens Volunteer Fire Company this week.
There were no serious injuries.
Considine, the incident commander at the scene, said fire crews focused their efforts on saving the second damaged house along the 500 block of Prospect Boulevard after observing that it had sustained heat damage from the blaze, which had completely consumed a neighboring house and its detached garage.
Despite their efforts, he said the attic of the second house was eventually engulfed in flames, which then began to damage a third house.
In all, it took five hours before the fire was extinguished, he said.
Units from Independent, Blue Ridge, Bakerton, Friendship and Shepherdstown volunteer fire companies assisted in the effort, as did responders from Berkeley County and Loudoun County, Va.
“We appreciate the support of all the surrounding jurisdictions,” Considine said. “It was a good collaborative report.”
Considine said a pet guinea pig was rescued unharmed from the most heavily damaged house.
The guinea pig was discovered by firefighters in its cage in the basement and had managed to survive because it was between a narrow band of air above the four feet of water that filled the basement and the thick blanket of smoke above.
“He just kind of looked up at me. He was fine,” Considine said. “He was the toughest guinea pig I have ever seen.”