By RACHEL C. DOVE
LAUREL CREEK - At approximately 4:30 a.m. Friday, the Lenore Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to a location on Old County Road after a 911 call was placed reporting a house fire.
Jeffery “Skip” Ferris, LVF Fire Chief, told the Daily News that the fire at the residence of George Newsome and his family had originated in an outbuilding and quickly spread to the home.
“We weren’t able to determine what caused the fire, so I have contacted the State Fire Marshal’s office to conduct an investigation,” said Ferris.
The chief said the outbuilding was a total loss, and that the bedroom and bath, located in the section of the home in close proximity of that building, were also destroyed. Ferris added that the entire house received substantial smoke and water damage.
Newsome, his wife and two children escaped the fire with no injuries.
While fighting the blaze, Ferris requested mutual aid from the East Fork of Twelve Pole Volunteer Fire Department. While en route to provide assistance, the East Fork firefighters discovered a single-wide trailer engulfed in flames shortly after exiting the Dingess Tunnel. The firefighters contacted Mingo County 911 and were told no had reported the second fire.
According to information provided by Ferris, the trailer was last occupied by Charles Ernest Chapman and April Dawn Vance, who were arrested last month after law enforcement responded to the home after a call for help was placed to 911.
Chapman allegedly assaulted Vance, who in turn proceeded to stab him three times with a small knife. Drugs were located inside the home where the defendants resided with their two small children. The couple was charged with a number of crimes including child neglect, domestic battery, malicious wounding and manufacturing a controlled substance.
Ferris commented that he had also requested the fire marshal’s office to investigate the second fire, and believes this was a case of arson. The chief said that no one was living in the single-wide at the time of the fire, and that it was completely destroyed as well.
Ferris responded to the fires with a total of ten firefighters, and the East Fork Department supplied two additional.