WILLIAMSON - A rental home located at 34 Rear Oak St. was listed as a total loss after a fire destroyed the wooden structure and an adjacent storage building.
The call was received at approximately 9:25 a.m. on Saturday. The Williamson Fire Department responded with two trucks and approximately eight firefighters. The Mingo County Ambulance Authority was also dispatched and the Chattaroy Volunteer Fire Department arrived to provide mutual aid with their tanker and 10 first responders/firefighters.
The home, which sits in close proximity to nearby structures, is not easily accessible by larger vehicles such as the fire engines, which made the job of fighting the blaze more difficult.
The fire was contained to the burning structure although damage was reported to the front of a van belonging to Nathan and Erin Bevins, who live next to the rental property, as well as to the vinyl siding on one nearby home. Two explosions were reported that were said to have been the gas lines going into the house and possibly the gas tank or the tires on the resident’s vehicle, which was also completely destroyed.
Patricia (Marcum) Maynard was renting the home from Jerry Cline, and told the Williamson Daily News that she had been drinking alcohol during the night and believes she may have fallen asleep on the couch with a cigarette, but then later stated that the fire started in the rear of the home. Maynard, who lost everything she owned in the fire, suffered first- and second-degree burns to her hand and to her side. She lived alone in the home with an elderly dog that also managed to escape the blaze with minor injuries. Maynard also said that the the landlord did not provide smoke detectors or fire alarms for the residence.
“All the firefighters that responded did a remarkable job here today,” stated WFD Chief Jerry Mounts. “When homes are located this close together, it takes knowledge, skill and teamwork to keep the fire from spreading. Thankfully we can say that our efforts were a success.”
Mingo County Interim Emergency Services Director Doug Goolsby contacted the American Red Cross to assist the victim of the fire with needed supplies and a place to stay temporarily, to help Maynard get back on her feet.
“Christmas fires are the worst,” said Goolsby. “It’s a tragedy when anyone loses a home, but to be homeless at Christmas is a very sad thing.”