Guesthouse Totaled By Fire

Posted: January 13, 2014

A fire destroyed a home in an isolated area of Shenandoah County over the weekend, but nobody was inside the structure at the time and no injuries were reported.

Fire and rescue officials from several departments around the region responded to the residence along Plum Tree Lane, which is off Hickory Lane in Fort Valley, shortly after 9 p.m. on Saturday.

The house burned to the foundation and was a total loss, according to fire officials. On Sunday, Preston Stempler, chief of the Fort Valley Volunteer Fire Department, said he did not know the value of the home.

“It was a guesthouse,” he said. “They saw it ablaze from their regular house.”

Units responded from Fort Valley Fire and Rescue, Edinburg Fire Department, Woodstock Fire and Rescue, Mount Jackson Fire Department, Toms Brook Fire Department, as well as two departments from Warren County.

Firefighters weren’t able to do much to save the structure, Stempler said, in part because the house is so far from any fire station.

“It’s pretty isolated and it’s a place where you don’t have municipal water supply, so it’s rural water supply,” he said. “That is why we called for all the tankers in the immediate area. We actually didn’t need to use them because the house was already mostly gone.”

The Shenandoah County fire marshal could not be reached for comment on Sunday regarding the status of the investigation into the blaze.

Contact Jonathon Shacat at 574-6286 or

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