By Conor Griffith
The Dominion Post
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Fire destroyed the four story house at 99 Pursglove Road outside Morgantown on Thursday morning.
“A passerby knocked on my door this morning and told me there was smoke billowing from my house,” said Dot Duffer, the owner of Duffer Sign Company who lived at the house. “I was able to get my two dogs and kids’ ashes and get out. I lost everything, all my clothes, musical instruments and things that belonged to my kids.”
Capt. Chris Tennant, with the Cassville Volunteer Fire Department, said his department got the call at about 7:30 a.m. He said the house had a balloon construction, meaning the space between the walls isn’t separated by the floors. “It (the fire) creates a chimney and if you don’t get it pretty quick, then you’re going to loose it,” he said, referring to the spread of the fire.
No one was injured in the fire.
Duffer said she received “an outpouring” of support from friends, adding neighbors brought her warm clothes and shoes. The house was insured. She said smoke alarms went off but she didn’t know what caused the fire. “The worst thing that could have happened to me has already happened, loosing my kids — but I lived through that.”
Duffer said she lost her daughter and son in car crashes in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
The smoke column could be seen as far away as the Triple S Harley Davidson off Interstate 79. Ashes from the burning house fell on nearby buildings along Pursglove Road. Thick smoke covered the valley near the house, blurring vision at times.
“It’s kind of terrifying, actually,” said Suzanne Kenney, the executive director of St. Ursula Food Pantry and Outreach. “We ’re going to be closed for a couple of days until we get the place aired out,” she said in reference the clouds of smoke emanating from the house next door.