Fire ruins Suffolk home

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A Suffolk family is without a home today after a fire early Monday caused $45,000 damage to their Wilroy Road Home.

At midnight Monday, David Etheridge was placing some logs in the fireplace of his mother’s

Wilroy Road home, where they reside, when his wife, Ella, heard a pop and crackle.

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At first, the family thought that the fire was sparking. Then David heard a strange smell coming from upstairs. David went up, and saw that fire was burning from the outside in. What was believed to be overloaded electrical circuits had caused a fire on the outside wall.

&uot;We knew it was something bad,&uot; said David, an uninsured disabled veteran and pre-law student at Christopher Newport University. &uot;We called the fire department and went outside.&uot;

At around 12:30 a.m., the trucks arrived, accompanied by a tanker truck, brought along because there are no fire hydrants nearby. The firefighters attempted to take out the flames from inside, but the heat drove them out. They went on the defense from the outside, and finally got the fire out around 4 a.m.

&uot;They worked hard,&uot; Davis said. &uot;They saved quite a bit. The fire hardly got to the downstairs inside.&uot;

Damages to the home and its contents was estimated at a combined $45,000, said Capt. Jim Judkins, fire department spokesman.

A cat was killed, and another was missing. There was no smoke detector in the home.

Etheridge said that he and his family would get hotel rooms from the Suffolk Red Cross, then look for an apartment until the home can be made habitable.