Fire Rips Through Albemarle County House

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

January 3, 2006

Fire investigators are still trying to piece together what may have started a blaze that tore through a house in Albemarle County tonight.

Neighbors of a home on Beam Road in the Key West subdivision of Albemarle County say flames were shooting high into the air. While the home was abandoned, one resident said it could have been a lot worse.

"When I came from the garage into the laundry room I saw this humongous blaze back here," said Margaret Carpenter.

Carpenter lives just across the dirt road from an abandoned home in the 1000 block of Beam Road. She said she was looking out into her backyard just before 8 p.m. when she noticed flames.

"It was tree top. These are old trees. It was way in the sky. So I called 911 immediately," she said.

Albemarle County firefighters responded to the scene, bringing companies from as far as Seminole Trail and East Rivanna. They discovered a working house fire and immediately went to work.

"When the first arriving engine arrived on location, of course they found the house fully involved. As of right now we have the fire knocked down," said Captain Jason Nauman from the Albemarle County Fire Department.

Carpenter says the home has been abandoned for at least 30 years. Trees and shrubs have grown around the old two story house but it has never caused problems.

"This is such a wooded area, so it didn't bother us that it was back there because it was not an eyesore," she said.

No one was injured in the incident, and fire fighters are investigating the exact cause of the blaze.

"We will also be doing a fire cause and determination investigation. One of the fire marshalls will be handling that," Nauman said.

Fire officials are still unsure of what actually started the fire. Carpenter said no one in the area is even sure who owns the house or the land.

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