2014-03-20 / Front Page

Fire Guts Needmore Homeplace

Emil Mellott family home deemed a total loss
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz


The late Emil Mellott homeplace on Wertzville Road in Belfast Township succumbed to fire late Monday night. Firefighters from Pennsylvania as well as West Virginia and Maryland responded to fight the blaze that gutted the two-story house. The late Emil Mellott homeplace on Wertzville Road in Belfast Township succumbed to fire late Monday night. Firefighters from Pennsylvania as well as West Virginia and Maryland responded to fight the blaze that gutted the two-story house. NEWS EDITOR

Fire companies from three states converged on a house fire in southern Fulton County just before midnight Monday.

Known to local residents as the late Emil Mellott homeplace, the two-story house located at 835 Wertzville Road erupted into flames at 11:52 p.m. sending area volunteer firefighters into action. The fire was reportedly noticed by Emil’s grandson, Andy Mellott, and his dogs. Andy resides next door and used a portion of the unoccupied house for office space.

Firefighters from Needmore, McConnellsburg, Hustontown, RWB&T, Breezewood, Hancock, Little Orleans and Berkeley Springs were dispatched to the blaze, while one of the eight enlisted company’s remained on standby at the Needmore Firehall.

According to Needmore Assistant

Fire Chief Scott Barton, crews arrived at the scene to find the house “fully involved.” With the second story beginning to cave in, Barton told the “News,” crews had to take into consideration structural and safety issues. As a result, they were unable to successfully access the hottest part of the home but still encountered significant heat and smoke.

During the “defensive operation,” Barton said, available manpower dumped “a pile of water” on the house. Unfortunately, he added that due to the structure being an older house, which is believed to have been constructed in the mid-1920s, it “burnt quickly.”

Firefighters returned to the firehall only to be called back to the home around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday for a “minor rekindle.” Barton said the rekindle was located in the roof of the second floor and was extinguished.

Deemed a total loss by Barton, the two main floors of the home were gutted. The basement sustained heavy water damage.

Due to the same safety issues firefighters encountered, Barton said the property owner, George Mellott, Emil’s son, was urged to refrain from going into the house. Some items were able to be salvaged from the home by the Mellott family, however.

Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Bradley Huff, who also serves locally in the capacity of assistant deputy fire marshal, has been contacted to investigate the blaze. He was expected to visit the scene at some point Tuesday.

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