CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. — A fire early morning in Charles Town displaced as many as a dozen families.
There were no injuries reported.
Independent Fire Company Chief Adam Watson tells The Panhandle News Network the call came out just after 1:00 a.m. Monday to the townhouses on Mallard Court in Willowbrook Village.
“Fire was showing through the roof in three of five townhouses” by the time they were dispatched, according to Chief Watson.
It is believed the fire started in the middle unit of the five conjoined townhouses, which contain ten separate units.
He said the location of the townhouses near a hillside made it difficult to battle the blaze. “There were challenges from the start,” according to Chief Watson, who said because of the size of the fire and terrain issues they deployed two ladder trucks during exterior operations and “thousands and thousands of gallons of water.”
Crews cleared the scene at 4:55 a.m. but were called back for a rekindle around 6 a.m.
“The rekindle happened to be in the fifth townhouse in the roof,” Chief Watson said, adding this blaze made it “difficult to hit every single ember.”
Watson says all seven fire departments in Jefferson County responded as did crews from Brunswick, Maryland and Loudoun Heights, Virginia.
Chief Watson says they dedicated personnel specifically to determine if anyone was missing.
He says all occupants have been accounted for.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
He says the five townhouses involved in the fire are a total loss. An additional eight or nine other townhouses were damaged by the heat from the fire.
Ten families who lived in the units have been displaced along with two families in nearby townhouses who were displaced because of a blown transformer.
The Red Cross is responding.