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Home engulfed before firefighters arrive / December 06, 2017
Firefighters from the Clarksville, Boydton and Virgilina fire departments spent hours Wednesday, Nov. 29 battling a blaze that destroyed a two-story home on Highway 49 in Nelson.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

A passerby traveling on Highway 49 near Willard’s Mill Road reported the structure fire around 12:17 a.m. The home was fully engulfed in flames by the time the local fire departments arrived.

A lack of functioning hydrants in the area forced firefighters to set up a water shuttle from a pond near Yancey Store Circle, about a mile and a half down Highway 49 from the location of the fire.

Clarksville Fire Chief Andy Elliott said, “The homeowners arrived on scene during the firefighting operation. They stated they were not currently staying at the house because they were doing some cosmetic revitalization ... such as painting and flooring.”

The house was declared a complete loss, with damage estimated at roughly $130,000. Elliott said there was also some heat damage to a car that was sitting in the driveway at the time.

Initial reports showed “no obvious signs of arson or any foul play,” Elliott said, adding that the exact cause of the blaze is unknown. It is under investigation by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jason Seamans.

In an unrelated matter, members of the Clarksville Volunteer Fire Department worked with Boydton firefighters on Saturday, Dec. 2 to extinguish a tractor fire.

Elliott said his department received the call around 2:14 p.m. that a track hoe was on fire on Henrico Road in Buffalo Junction.

Owner Michael Overbey of Nelson said he was using the hoe to uproot a tree when the tractor caught fire.

He was able to dismount without being injured before the hoe was consumed by the blaze.

The exact cause of the fire is unknown, but Elliott speculated it was caused by a problem with the hoe’s hydraulic line.

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