Fire Forces Students From Home

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

Four James Madison University students are not living in their house tonight after it caught on fire on Saturday morning.

It happened around 8:30 a.m. in the 500 block of South Mason Street.

He lives in the 500 block of South Mason Street in Harrisonburg.

"I just got up for work and the whole, the house was on fire."

Jacob Ashton is now looking at the house from the outside because it's too dangerous to go inside.

"It's gonna take a little bit of time to really heal. it's gonna take at least a couple months for things to get back to normal," Ashton said.

But he said nothing was normal about Saturday morning.

"I jumped up and realize my whole room started to fill up with smoke," Ashton said.

The JMU student said he couldn't see much.

"I just panicked, I freaked out and I started yelling there is a fire. I wasn't sure where it was coming from yet," Ashton said.

He said he noticed the room across the hall filled with smoke.

His roommates were his biggest concern.

"I didn't know where my roommates were. I didn't know if they were in the room or if they were in the attic, I was just yelling and luckily both were downstairs," Ashton said.

The Harrisonburg Fire Department said one of the rooms upstairs caught on fire because of a burning candle.

Ashton said his roommates forgot to blow it out.

"They were really broken up about it and I was trying to calm them down and make them understand that these things happen unfortunately," Ashton said.

However, he said they were fortunate their biggest loss was $10,000 worth of things.

"It could've been the whole house, it could've been our lives," he said.

The damage was severe enough forcing him and his roommates to be out of the house for about a week until power is restored.

Each of them will be staying with friends until then.

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