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State fire marshal called to investigate Cardinal Street fire

BUCKHANNON – A home at 10 Cardinal Street appeared to be a total loss after a fire ravaged it in the early morning hours of July 20.

Career firefighter John Brugnoli said the Buckhannon Fire Department received the call at 1:03 a.m. Tuesday, and the fire was cleared at 4:21 a.m.

“It’s probably considered a total loss – it’s, say, an 80 percent burnout,” Brugnoli said. “It has a huge basement, so there’s probably some salvageable stuff down there and on the first floor, but the whole second floor [was badly damaged], and the whole roof is burned out.”

Captain Joey Baxa with the Buckhannon Fire Department said Wednesday that the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate the fire.

“The State Fire Marshal’s office has not been there yet, and I’m not sure when they’re going to make it, but we always call the State Fire Marshal’s office whenever we can’t determine what the cause is,” Baxa said.

He said the structure was already fully engulfed when the first crew arrived on scene.

“Whenever the initial crew arrived, they found way more fire than they could control with the resources we had available, so they used what we call a master stream, which can spray 500 gallons a minute of water,” Baxa said. “We got lucky there was a hydrant there on the corner of Cardinal and Reger Street, but we had a few difficulties getting water because of the number of trees around the house.”

Baxa said the Buckhannon Fire Department, Warren District Volunteer Fire Department, Washington District Volunteer Fire Company, Adrian Volunteer Fire Department and the Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department – as well as fire departments from Elkins, Weston and Jane Lew – responded to the scene, with about two dozen firefighters in total.

“The whole second floor was involved. After we knocked it down a little bit with some larger streams of water, we moved inside with some hand lines,” Baxa said. “The garage was partially involved – it did not get totally involved, but the whole house was well-involved except for the basement whenever we arrived.”

No one was injured in fire, and Baxa said it appeared no one was home at the time.

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