Wood Stove to Blame in Darnestown Fire
Damage to the home is estimated at $95,000.
Update, Dec. 28 1:25 p.m.: Fire and Rescue Capt. Oscar Garcia said Tuesday that a fire in the 13200 block of Violettes Lock Road was classified as an accidental incident. According to the final report, firefighters were dismissed from the scene at 2:40 p.m. on Dec. 27, and damage to the home was estimated at $95,000.
Garcia said that the tenants had working smoke alarms and a lawful wood-burning stove, where the fire originated.
Two cats belonging to the tenants were found dead by firefighters after the fire was extinguished.
Garcia urges homeowners to have wood stoves, fireplaces and chimney's professionally inspected and maintained before use each winter.
Update, 5:25 p.m.: House tenant Billy Weller said the fire started from a wood stove in the first floor and spread through much of the two-story house, located in the 13200 block of Violettes Lock Road.
Weller said he was at work when he received a call from his girlfriend, who was alone at their home.
"I got a call and she said 'The house is on fire,'" Weller said.
A neighbor called Montgomery County fire and rescue to report the fire at 2:42 p.m.
"If the firefighters didn't come when they did, the roof would have been gone," he noted
Two cats were killed in the fire, but Weller's dog escaped safely with his girlfriend.
Weller had lived in the house for seven years. Monday night he planned to stay with friends.
"I lost it all," he said. "It's sad but I've just got to pick up my bootstraps."
Update, 4:38 p.m.: Two people are displaced after a fire destroyed much of a two-story, single-family home in Darnestown just before 3 p.m. Monday.
The fire began on the first floor of the house in the 13200 block of Violettes Lock Road and quickly spread to the second floor, causing an estimated $100,000 in damages, Fire and Rescue spokesman Capt. Oscar Garcia said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but fire and rescue believe a wooden stove and the associated pipes in the living area played a role, Garcia said.
"It is the cold weather season, but whether it's a chimney or a wooden stove, we encourage people to make sure they are maintained properly and follow the manufacturer's recommendation."
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue dispatched over a dozen trucks to the scene, including tanker trucks, as the house is in a non-hydrant area. A total of 55 firefighters were on the scene.
High winds on Monday afternoon helped the fire to spread quickly from the first to second floor, Garcia said.
Original post, Dec. 27 3:34 p.m.: Montgomery County Fire and Rescue are on the scene of a house fire at the 13200 block of Violettes Lock Road.
A caller reported the fire at the single-family house at 2:42 p.m., said Fire and Rescue spokesman Capt. Oscar Garcia.
No injuries have been reported.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the house address.