Fire destroys home

Published 2:05 pm Thursday, June 25, 2020

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A home on Watson Road in Farmville became a total loss Wednesday, June 24, after being ravaged by a fire that had been controlled by firefighters the day before.

No one was injured in the blaze.

Crews from multiple agencies battled the fire for about five-and-a-half hours Tuesday, June 23, and about five-and-a-half hours again Wednesday, according to Farmville Fire Department (FFD) Capt. Travis Finch, who was in command Tuesday.

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He explained the fire started due to a piece of equipment in a bathroom. The equipment had two light bulbs and a heater in the middle of it.

“I guess it would heat the bathroom, and that way you wouldn’t be cold when you got out of the shower,” he said. “Well, the unit itself, and I’m not sure if the fire started there or on the wire, but something in between there caught on fire, and it also burned down the entire attic space. It was a wire that burned through there.

“And it had really thick insulation between where the wire was resting on the rafters and the top and the bottom, so we thought we had put all of the fire out yesterday, because we didn’t find any hot spots when we left,” he continued. “Everything looked good. There was no smoke.”

But the fire rekindled, and firefighters were called back out Wednesday morning by neighbors who saw it. Finch was present Wednesday, but FFD Lt. Carson Rubin was in command.

“When we got there, there was heavy fire from the roof showing,” Rubin said. “We went ahead and put an attack line in place inside the house and started knocking down most of the fire.”

He said he and the crews realized they were not going to be able to get to two parts of the fire on either end of the house because the home had different attics.

“We couldn’t get to it with what we had,” he said. “So we had Truck 2 from Hampden-Sydney (Fire & Emergency Medical Services) come in and put up their ladder and spray water down from the aerial, and then that allowed crews to go inside to get any hot spots, and then we covered it with a layer of foam so that they wouldn’t have another rekindle like we had this morning.”

Finch said there was so much fire in the attic Wednesday that it took off really fast.

“The whole attic pretty much lit off after we opened the front door and went in,” he said. “It was just really hard to access everything with all that insulation they had and the roof’s caving in and all that.”

Rubin said it was a great effort by everybody Wednesday to put the fire out.

“We were a little short on people at first, but then we got some more people there and was able to get everything knocked out,” he said.

Agencies responding in addition to FFD and Hampden-Sydney included Pamplin Volunteer Fire Department & EMS, Prospect Volunteer Fire Department, Meherrin Volunteer Fire and Rescue and Randolph District Volunteer Fire Department.