House Fire on Harry Byrd Highway Displaces Residents

Officials closed one westbound lane of Route 7 - Photo credit Pam Lettie

A fire that broke out Sunday morning severely damaged a Clarke County home and injured two firefighters.

The incident occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. Crews from Blue Ridge and Enders Fire Companies were dispatched to a home located in the 3800 block of Harry Byrd Highway and upon arrival found a fire on the back side of residence. Firefighter immediately went to work to knock down the flames and additional crews were called in from Boyce,  and Mt Weather as well  as companies from Loudoun and Jefferson Counties.

One westbound lane of Route 7 was closed to traffic while crews worked to extinguish the fire and secure the scene.

Photo credit Pam Lettie

Chief Jason Burns from Blue Ridge Fire Company said that the house suffered fire damage at the rear of the structure as well as heat and smoke damage throughout the interior of the home. The house was deemed uninhabitable as a result of the fire and Red Cross officials were on scene to render assistance to the residents.

Two fire fighters from Enders Fire Company were injured during the incident when they fell through the ceiling of the home. They were working in the attic of the structure when the ceiling gave way. Both individuals were treated on the scene and released.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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  1. Can anyone advise how we can help this family? What items are they in need of ect. Where can donations be sent?

    • Neon Trees says:

      I’m a member of this family when I find out about donations… I’ll certainly let you know.

    • The residents are my grandparents. They are trying to save what they can right now and clean up eveything from the smoke damage to see what they can keep.

    • I am the daughter and you can contact me at 540-539-0144. Right now they don’t have a phone so I can help you as much as I can. They need clothes and everything. All there belonging we’re either burnt or smoke and water damaged. Thank you for your concern

  2. Wine Taster says:

    Just curious…..why so many fire trucks for such a small house? Thanks!

    • Clarke Co Volunteer FF says:

      To answer your question as CFF did, the amount of fire trucks it tkes to handle a small house fire can be large depending on the location and the amount of fire. Now keep one thing in mind, Clarke Co has NO career firefighters only career medics (which are cross trained as firefighters) so all of the people that where there had to leave their house and go to the stations to get on the fire trucks. Not everyone gets to the stations at the same time. Now different fire trucks have different roles as CFF has said but the main reason is for the MANPOWER (as CFF said). So the answer to your question in the short form is so that the job at hand can be done in a timely fashion and that no one gets hurt (all tho two guys fell thru the ceiling but where not hurt). The worst thing for a firefighter to do is to go to a funeral for one of their brothers or sisters that has died on an incident while helping out the community.

      Also i woud like to say to the family that i am sorry for your loss, and may God watch over you in this time of need.

      • First off I will say I am sorry for the loss for the persons who were in this house. My prayers are to you all and hope that you all will be able to get back on your feet soon!

        I can agree with Clarke Co Volunteer FF. Being one of the 2 that were involved with the mayday where the ceiling went out from us may I say thanks to the quick response by our fellow firefighters. Thankfully, we are both doing ok and know it could have been a lot worse than what it was and we are thankful for that. It shook both of us up pretty bad but we are not giving up with our careers as volunteer firefighters. We love this job. We train so that incidents like this shouldn’t happen, however we also train for the times that those incidents do happen. Each truck that is at a house fire has many similarities, but there are also differences such as tools on each piece of apparatus, amount of water, and most importantly, the people that are on those trucks. Everyone worked well together yesterday at the fire and did an excellent job for what we came face to face with. We did not expect the mayday situation to happen but we are always prepared for the worst case scenarios. A RIT (Rapid Intervention Team) was established, and as soon as the mayday was called, they were quick to act and help us out of the structure. This shows the “Brotherhood and Sisterhood” of fire and rescue in Clarke County and I am proud to say that I volunteer/work with these individuals all of the time.

    • I would rather see more than not enough. I understand there is cost assosiated, but lives are important too.

  3. This will sound snarky, “Wine Taster”, but if was your home you would want 100 firetrucks there. I am no firefighter, but my guess as to why there were so many trucks is that there are no fire hydrants in that area as it is rural. Trucks are used to haul in water and in order to put out a fire you need massive amounts of water. Engines are required to pump this water so having a team of trucks is necessary.

  4. Neon Trees says:

    Maybe a proper question (Wine Taster) would be, where are these people going to go now since they have no home? Or like the comment above yours. How can I help? Can I donate money? Can I volunteer time? Since you are currently on the internet maybe you should have researched the question instead of putting a [redacted] comment like that on this post… God forbid this ever happens to you and people don’t give a crap about your misfortune… Shame on you.

    • Another ridiculous and out of line answer. If you cannot answer the question asked, you should not respond. The question was sincere, looking for real information, your answer was rude. “God forbid this ever happens to you and people don’t give a crap about your misfortune… Shame on you.” What the heck are you talking about Neon Trees????

  5. Jeffrey Brantner says:

    like kt said,which i feel was nowhere near snarky,It would be a different story if you were in those people’s shoe’s.You need to get a grip and have a little respect for something you haven’t a clue about pal!!!!!Hope you sleep well tonite in your house,cause they are not going to!!!!! thanks for your very tasteless and low comment!!!!

  6. carol brantner says:

    i agree jeff this was a devistating event and thank god our family is as strong as we are and can pull together to help other family members in their times of need…… if it were your house you would want all the help you could get to try to save anything you could but jeff thank god our family members are safe and not hurt!!!!!!!! thats whats important

  7. Jeffrey Brantner says:

    [redacted] what does it matter how many fire trucks responded?For 1,my hats go off to all that responded,they are public servants,which they chose to do,which our taxpaying aids for them to do!!!! [redacted] I am thankful that god was on my families side on this 1,because things coulda been alot worse!!!!The things they lost are mostly replaceable,but a “LOST LIFE” isn’t!![ redacted]

  8. It is devastating anytime there is a fire at a residence. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt at this incident. Unfortunately, two firefighters did suffer minor injuries as reported. I personally was not at this incident but would like to attempt to explain the amount of equipment to Wine Taster. The picture of the equipment lined up on Rt. 7 appears to be this. You have a tanker (water shuttle that typically holds 2-3000 gallons of water) off loading in to a red portable tank that is set up to be the supply. There is a red (engine) that is drafting from that portable tank and pumping water to the attack lines that the actual firefighters are using to knock down the fire. In the background on rt. 7, there are additional tankers waiting to offload water into the portable tank as soon as the first tanker is done emptying. Once the tankers offload their water, they in turn will go to get additional water. Since this is a rural firefighting operation, my guess is that the Shenandoah River would be the closest supply. They would go there and draft water from the river and bring it back to drop in the portable supply tank. This procedure would continue until the fire was completely knocked down and overhaul completed. The additional units on the scene serve specific operations as well. It appears that there is a truck (ladder truck, tower, quint etc.) that carries salvage and overhaul equipment as well as would allow for an overhead aerial attack with water if needed. More importantly, all of these units carry MANPOWER! It gets very hot and exhausting fighting an interior attack on a structure. Even men and women in the best of shape are quickly exhausted and must rotate out of the attack and get checked by ems personnel and refreshed by a canteen unit supplying drinks and food. If the pumps on the main attack engine were to fail and not pump water there would be an urgent need to quickly get water to the firefighters on the interior. The additional wagons and engines on the scene would be there to provide water and attack lines as well. This appears to be a compact location that did not allow multiple lines to be laid from additional units but it great to know they were there to fight this fire and prevent injury or loss of life to the residents and their fellow brotherhood.

  9. Wine Taster ~ a just curious question deserves an answer, not sarcasm. For someone that is not a volunteer firefighter or directly involved in an incident, you wouldn’t automatically know the answer. Personally I think it’s a fair question. Apparently there were fuel and propane tanks by the house which posed a threat for explosion and yes, the fire trucks also carry the water that is used to put out the fire. It appears that the hostile comments are from family members that are concerned for the family (as they should be) and not interested in technical questions as to how the fire was extinguished. THANK YOU to all of the volunteers that risked their lives to save this family and their home. I hope the two firefighters are doing well today, knowing they could have been seriously injured or worse when the ceiling collapsed under them. The response from the volunteers was amazing!

  10. Is there any idea as to what caused this fire?

  11. If anyone would like to make a donation the family has set up an account at Bank of Clarke County. You can go into any location and ask to make a donation into Ronald and Coletas account or tell them the house fire on harry byrd highway. Or you can come in to the red apple in Berryville in the mornings. Tht is we’re 2 of the daughters work. Or you can always give me a call 540-539-0144. Thank you so much.

  12. I moved from Clarke County 7 years ago to a rural area in Georgia,in the area I live in, if you have a fire you can bet on losing your house because of lack of volunteers working the fire department.We would be blessed if we had so many fire trucks at a fire scene.Count yor blessings