Fire destroys historic home at Grandview

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Berryville volunteer firefighters were able to contain a fire last Thursday at an historic home near Grandview in time for the residents to get most of their antiques, valuables and furniture out of the more than 100-year-old home.

Berryville Fire Chief Gene Chafin said the Bruce and Jennifer McCall home on County Road 215 off of state Highway 143 south of Grandview was built around the time of the Civil War, and said the volunteers were able to save most of the structure but the insurance company estimated it at a total loss.

The firefighters were alerted just after 6 p.m. April 8, and arrived to find part of the home engulfed in flames. Chafin said the fire kept spreading through the walls because of its age and lack of fire barriers in the walls.

Firefighter Carl Goins said,"We had a pretty quick response time, and we were able to knock the fire down enough to where firefighters and the family were able to get the majority of the antiques, furniture, valuables and clothes out of the house before the fire could get to them. Mrs. McCall got most of her keepsakes and valuable antiques out, so she was as happy as someone could be in such a bad situation."

The McCalls and their two children were not injured, and no firefighters were hurt.

The department fought the blaze as it spread through the walls, keeping it from the rooms where valuables were located. Seventeen firefighters and three trucks were on the scene for hours, and the water tanker used up three loads, Goins said.

Chief Chafin said the fire apparently started in an electrical box in a closet, but the cause is still under investigation.

The arduous task lasted for about four hours, and the exhausted firefighters got some welcome relief with the arrival of Ted Hostetler, who Carl Goins praised for bringing out about 20 hamburgers to the site when Hostetler learned of the situation.

"Ted payed for the food out of his own pocket," Goins said, and drinking water was provided by their wives.

Goins returned the next day to get electricity to a recreational vehicle on the property where the McCalls are staying until a permanent solution is resolved.

Hostetler said Monday that he saw the smoke from The Outpost, and knows Bruce McCall, so he said he just wanted to help in any way he could.

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