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Fire takes holiday toll

South Boston News
Firefighters work to bring a Clarksville-area fire under control on New Year’s Eve. (Contributed photo) / January 03, 2018
Volunteer firefighters with four area companies braved high winds and frigid temperatures Sunday night while battling a house fire near Mooresville Estate just outside of Clarksville.

Clarksville Fire Chief Andy Elliott said a call came into the 911 center about a house fire at 104 Browns Cove Road around 8:40 p.m. New Year’s Eve. The caller said a single-story house off Highway 15N near Mooresville Road had smoke and fire showing.

By the time firefighters arrived at the home, Elliott said flames were shooting from the roof.

Firefighters with the Boydton, Chase City, Clarksville and Bacon District Volunteer Fire Departments set up a water shuttle operation, drawing water from Bluestone Landing and the nearest hydrant at the intersection of Highway 15-58. The temperatures were so cold, Elliott said, the water was freezing on firefighters’ gear and hoses were icing up.

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Transportation had to spread salt and sand at the hydrant site due to runoff water freezing on the road, causing a potential road hazard.

The fire spread to adjoining woods, though Blair Dalton with the Virginia Department of Forestry raised the possibility that the fire may have originated outside the home from burning debris and brush. At this time, Elliott said, no final determination has been made as to the cause of the fire.

Investigators with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office will be the ones to make that determination.

Elliott said firefighters were able to save parts of the house and some of its contents, though he estimated the loss at between $120,000 and $130,000. No one was home at the time of the blaze.

There were no injuries reported, but a couple of fire trucks sustained minor damages due to the very tight roadway and limited access to the site.

Elliott thanked volunteer firefighters from Chase City, Bacon District and Boydton, as well as sheriff’s deputies and Clarksville police for their assistance. He praised them by saying, “They didn’t get to celebrate the New Year with friends and family, as planned, but at least we were with our family of firefighters, law enforcement, and dispatchers.”

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