2013-01-09 / Front Page

Fire Damages Timber Ridge Home

Passing motorists spots blaze
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Four fire companies from Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland responded to a house fire in Belfast Township last Monday afternoon.

A passing motorist spotted the fire in progress on the 14000 block of Timber Ridge Road past the intersection of Leese Road around 5:45 p.m. on December 31, according to Needmore Volunteer Fire Co. Chief J.R. Sigel.

Sigel said when volunteer firefighters from Needmore, Mc- Connellsburg, Hancock and Great Cacapon arrived, they were greeted by ammunition sounding off like a World War II battle. The 2-1/2 story farmhouse previously owned by the late Vernon and Velma Leese had already suffered fire damage to the garage and attached addition as well as to onequarter of the residence.

The fire chief said even though those specific areas were already fully engulfed, the firefighters were able to fight through gusting winds and got the blaze under control within 30 minutes. Sigel referred to the firefighting efforts as a “good save” or “knockdown” in spite of the weather conditions.

In the following hours, firefighters overhauled the partially gutted home checking for hot spots in the walls and rafters and completed necessary mop up. Needmore was back in service by 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve.

Sigel said home ownership remains within the Leese family, and the lone resident was reportedly not home when the fire broke out.

Pennsylvania State Police Assistant Deputy Fire Marshal Bradley Huff visited the scene that evening but is not slated to investigate the blaze further. Huff told the “News” an investigation was not necessary as fire company officials had determined the fire was connected to the chimney.

Sigel confirmed there was “nothing suspicious” at the scene, and the majority of the heat and burns appeared to be linked to the chimney that was tentatively slated to be cleaned New Year’s Day.

Hustontown Volunteer Fire Co. remained on standby throughout the incident.

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