RUSTBURG — One firefighter got overheated but no one was injured after a one-story ranch home off English Tavern Road caught fire Tuesday afternoon. The 15-year-old home on Addie Way was declared a total loss Tuesday, according to Lyn-Dan Heights Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Matt Crouch.
As of 6 p.m. Tuesday officials had yet to confirm the number of residents displaced.
The Lyn-Dan Heights Volunteer Fire Department was called to the Russell Springs subdivision at about 2:30 p.m. Crouch said the home was fully involved when crews arrived.
Crouch said a grill on the back deck of the home caught fire and spread to the rest of the house. Heat from the fire melted the siding off the house next door, leaving the wood exterior sheathing exposed, vinyl siding hanging in strips.
At 3:30, firefighters still were putting out the smoldering wreckage; the roof of the home entirely gone.
Across the street, neighbors Tammy, Cassie and Aaron Mintah stood in their driveway, watching firefighters douse the embers of the fire from bucket trucks and sort through debris.
Aaron Mintah said he heard what sounded like thunder, and assumed it was the storm until his brother called him over to see the flames that already had consumed the back deck and reached the roof.
It was hot enough they could feel the heat from inside their own house, Cassie Mintah said. She said the fire escalated in a matter of minutes.
Tammy Mintah said it was a blessing the family was safe. Crouch said the family was sheltering in a neighbor’s house up the road.
The speed with which the fire spread was shocking, Mintah said.
“By the time I got to the phone there were already smoke and flames,” she said. “You could feel the heat from the front door.”
A muggy afternoon, with temperatures spiking to 80 degrees, Crouch said one of his firefighters got overheated, and personnel handed out Gatorade and water to help keep the firefighters cool and hydrated.
Chaz Smith, a lieutenant with the Rustburg Volunteer Fire Department, said additional departments were dispatched to help because of the high temperatures Tuesday.
Smith recommends people keep their grills away from the sides of their house, making sure not to have them sitting under eaves or a deck.
Crouch said it was a significant fire for the area, and despite relying on volunteer fire departments in the middle of the week when it can be hard to assemble teams quickly, they had a good turnout
The Lyn-Dan Heights, Evington, Brookville, Forest and Rustburg volunteer fire departments responded to the fire, along with Campbell County Public Safety.
Crouch said the Campbell County Fire Marshal’s Office now will investigate the fire, and assist the homeowners with emergency housing.
Sarah Honosky covers Appomattox and Campbell counties at The News & Advance. Reach her at (434) 385-5556.
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