Fire Displaces Four in Rockingham County

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

A fire on the 2700 block near Elkton left four people without a home on Saturday night.

Rockingham County Fire and Rescue, Chief Jeremy Holloway, said the chimney fire started in the basement and made its way into the first floor. He estimated damages to be close to $25,000

Marion Howdyshell has lived at the house for more than 50 years.

"We had this house built and it means a whole lot to me," said Howdyshell.

The living room, which sustained most of the damage was filled with rubble and smoke on Sunday afternoon.

"I had all kinds of dolls and all kinds of religious dolls I had bought through the years and all of that is gone," said Howdyshell.

The family was not home at the time of the incident. However, a family dog did not make it out.

"I feel sorry for the dog because we take in a lot of dogs," said Howdyshell.

Rockingham County Fire and Rescue Captain Jeff Werner said these types of fires are not uncommon.

"We do see an increase of these types of fires during this type of the year because that is when these items are in use the most," said Werner.

He said this week crews responded to four of five fires related to chimneys or wood stoves.

"That is significantly a lot in one week," said Werner.

He said it is important to not only check appliances before the burning season, but during it.

"As they continue to use these during the year and burning of wood that they need to maintain some certain level of vigilance and maintenance with these items," said Werner.

He recommends people keep about a three-foot diameter area clear around wood stoves. In addition, people should check their chimneys during the burning season every three to four weeks for creosote build up.

Howdyshell said she did not expect her chimney to cause a fire and keep her out of her home.

"I am used to being home all the time. I don't work," said Howdyshell.

Howdyshell has insurance. On Sunday, she did not know if she would be able to return to the home. Howdyshell and the other three residents of the home are staying with family members.

On Monday, she will find out if the house only needs repairs or if it needs to be torn down.

If you would like to help, you can contact the Elkton Seventh-day Adventist Church at 540-298-1801. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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