Blaze destroys abandoned house Tuesday

Published 10:12 am Wednesday, June 10, 2009

CHESAPEAKE — Mother Nature had as much a say in what volunteer firefighters did Tuesday afternoon as the fire they were battling.

Around 3:30 p.m. a call went out on a blaze at an abandoned one-story house on Buffalo Creek Road at the five-mile marker. When the crews got there, they could see fire and smoke, but not much of the actual structure.

“Seventy-five feet from the road, you couldn’t see the house. You could see the fire, but not the house. It was that overgrown,” Ed Webb, assistant chief of the Chesapeake department, said. “It was extremely difficult to get to. It was probably 150 feet off the road. But it was an abandoned structure and we couldn’t find the road to the house. Weeds, trees, bushes, everything had grown over the original road.”

Crews used an old deer path to get up the hill to the blaze, cautiously treading because of possible snakes.

“Once we got up to the structure, you had to deal with the heat,” Webb said. “We had some guys literally taking drinking up the hill.”

Joining Chesapeake were South Point, Fayette 1 and Fayette 1 volunteer departments with SEOEMS there to aid any firefighters affected by the heat. Assistance was needed not because of the severity of the fire, but because of the heat and difficulty getting to the scene.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Webb said. The structure was destroyed. Crews were at the scene for about three hours.