By Stephen Smoot
Last Saturday morning at 6:50 a.m., the Upper Tract Volunteer Fire Department responded to a house fire that was a total loss for the homeowner, Mary Joann Borror.
According to the UTVFD Facebook page, the blaze consumed a single family dwelling and everything in it. Units also responded from Franklin, Petersburg, South Fork and Seneca Rocks. According to UTVFD chief Mike Alt, the weather conditions were not as cold as on other recent calls.
Alt also said that “the residents realized there was a fire in a room” and escaped the dwelling. They were transported to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries from the fire. As of now, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The UTVFD auxiliary was on hand to provide beverages and other refreshments. Alt also praised their work, saying that they are vital in organizing drives for donations and food. They have already launched a drive to help the family obtain clothing and other needs. The department requests that those interested in donating help to provide non-perishable foods and clothing.
Donated goods can be dropped off at the UTVFD Training Center at 11596 Petersburg Pike. Any financial contributions can be made out to Mary J. Borror. Additionally, the family needs the following clothing for females: shirts in large size, 12P pants, and size 7 and a half shoes, and men’s clothes in 2X shirts, stretch 2X pants, and size 12 shoes.
The department also praised the accurate work of 911 dispatchers, saying their efforts are often overlooked.
Beyond their help for Upper Tract families who have recently lost most or all of their possessions in house fires recently, the UTVFD has also launched a “Warm Hands, Warm Hearts” drive to collect hats, mittens, and gloves to distribute to children with need who attend Pendleton County schools. These donations can also be dropped off at the training center.
The UTVFD has other family and community events scheduled for the month of December which are listed on their Facebook page.
In other fire related news, Aumanns Custom Auto, whose Franklin shop was a total loss in a recent fire, announced that they will temporarily relocate to 3043 Petersburg Pike, the site of the former Sites Fire and Safety. They thanked their customers and the community, wished all a Merry Christmas, and said that they will rebuild at the original site in Franklin.