Photo courtesy of Duffield Volunteer Fire Department.
DUFFIELD — Fire officials in Scott County believe an electrical malfunction caused a blaze Tuesday morning that heavily damaged a Duffield family’s apartment.
Scott County Central Dispatch was notified at approximately 11:05 a.m. of a fire at the Whippoorwill Hills Apartments on Sanders Circle in Duffield, Duffield Fire Chief Roger Carter said.
Carter said firefighters were able to extinguish the flames shortly after arriving at the scene.
“Once they made entry, they had the fire knocked down in about 10 minutes,” Carter said. “When they went through the door they met the fire in the living room, and were able to extinguish it with about 500 gallons of water.”
Crews from both the Duffield and Gate City volunteer fire departments were assisted on the call by the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Red Cross.
According to the Red Cross, two adults and a child were displaced by the blaze. A Red Cross spokeswoman said the organization is assisting the family with meals, clothing and lodging.
The family was reportedly away from the apartment when the fire occurred.
Carter said the fire began when an electrical short occurred in one of the apartments’ living room walls. The short reportedly caused a nearby bookshelf to catch fire, and the flames spread to nearby furniture and a wall.
“The apartment that caught fire is completely unlivable now,” Carter said. “It will have to be complete overhauled or redone.”
The fire was located in a building with a total of seven apartments, he said.
Carter said firefighters were able to limit most of the damage to neighboring apartments.
“We had to remove the residents from the apartments adjacent to it and on both sides of the fire for safety,” Carter said. “Most of the damage was minor. One apartment had some smoke in it, and another one had a little bit of water damage.”
Carter said Tuesday’s snowy conditions did cause some problems for volunteer fire department members attempting to respond to the Duffield station.