GATE CITY — One Scott County family is without a home for Christmas after their house near Gate City was destroyed by fire early Sunday morning.
The home’s residents were reportedly out of town when the fire occurred.
According to the Gate City Volunteer Fire Department, the blaze was reported at approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday at a home located on Hatchet Drive.
Gate City Fire Chief Jeff Brickey said the residence was fully involved in flames when crews from Gate City and the Weber City Volunteer Fire Departments arrived at the scene.
Crews spent more than two hours battling the blaze before clearing the scene at 3:40 a.m. A relative at the scene reportedly notified the homeowners of the fire. The family reportedly returned home Sunday afternoon.
According to a release sent out Monday afternoon by the Red Cross of Southwest Virginia, two adults and a child were displaced by the fire, which totally destroyed the house.
The Red Cross confirmed the family was out of town at the time of the incident.
A Red Cross spokeswoman said the organization is providing the family with financial assistance to help with meals, clothing and lodging in the aftermath of the fire.
Brickey said Monday evening that the cause of the blaze had yet to determined.
“The damage is pretty extensive and it’s hard to tell looking at it,” Brickey said. “It was so involved when we got there, it’s hard to determine where it began.”
Brickey said the case will likely be turned over to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office for further investigation due to the home’s extensive damage.
Sunday’s fire was one of several that occurred over the weekend in Southwest Virginia.
According to the Red Cross, two more families — including one with a child — were displaced by fires in Buchanan County.
Because of the increased risk of fire during the cold months, Brickey said everyone should take general precautions to help avoid a potential disaster.
“Make sure you’re careful with heating equipment and appliances and keep them away from anything combustible,” Brickey said. “That’s something we see a lot, especially when people are using equipment they aren’t very familiar with. And also be sure you have a working fire alarm with batteries in it.”