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Nokesville home destroyed, deputy hospitalized from fire Sunday

Sunday, Aug. 2 | By Michael Melkonian
Smoke spills from the charred Nokesville home as hot-spots are extinguished by emergency crews. Photo credit Michael Melkonian/Fauquier Times Staff Photo
Flames destroyed a Nokesville home and sent one sheriff's deputy to the hospital Sunday afternoon.

The house at 3546 Ringwood Road was fully involved by the time emergency crews arrived on the scene just after noon. Three companies from Prince William County and seven companies from Fauquier County responded to the fire. Chief Paul Holsinger of the New Baltimore Volunteer Fire Company held command.

Holsinger said half of the large two-story house was already totally enveloped in flames by the time emergency crews began to fight the blaze. The flames were visible billowing over the treeline up to a mile away.

Next to the home, firefighters doused a detached garage and recreational vehicle that were on fire when a Sheriff's deputy was injured and was taken to Fauquier Hospital.

A piece of shrapnel from the burning RV was launched from the flaming wreck and struck the deputy on the arm, Holsinger said.

Originally, fire crews spent about 40 minutes cycling tankers from Vint Hill hydrants to the fire and back for enough water to fight the fire, Holsinger said. Eventually, a small pond nearby was tapped and a daisy chain of fire engines and about 2,000 feet of hose on the ground supplied the water for the crews on scene.

Holsinger said it was a relief to be able to take water from the pond by the fire instead of shuttling tankers to try and keep up with the demand for water pressure.

The house was a charred skeleton by 2 p.m.

The detatched garage was barely recognizable, only identifiable by the square shape of blackened ribs sticking up from the ground next to the home. Next to the garage sat the charcoal chassis of what was once an RV.

A spent smattering of emergency crews sat in the shade away from the smoke and flames as new units were tagged into the action. The drenched and red-faced volunteers and career fighters chugged water and sports drinks to regain focus and energy as they prepared for the inevitable call from command back into the fight.

At one point during the battle, a firefighter came out from the basement holding the homeowner's cat. Neighbors volunteered to take the soaking wet and meowing pet to the nearest vet that would be open on Sunday.

A couple hours into the fire, most of the big flames were put out. But small hot-spots, smoldering pieces of drywall and roof scattered throughout the house, burned on and kept demanding the firefighters' attention.

Holsinger said they would not clean up and leave until there was no smoke visible from any part of the house.

By 4 p.m. the fight was over and roads were reopened.

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