At approximately 1:32 a.m., the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Emergency Communications Center received several calls about a residential structure fire at a duplex on Woodland Drive, which is located off Reservoir Street behind Sunchase Apartments.
Harrisonburg’s Deputy Fire Chief Matthew Tobia said first responders were on the scene under four minutes after the initial call. With the “extensive nature” of the fire, Tobia said a second alarm was issued at 1:43 a.m., which brought a total of 30 firefighters to the scene.
“Crews made an attack both from the outside and the inside of the structure [and] were able to bring the fire under control in about 20 minutes,” Tobia said.
Lori Clouse, the homeowner, was asleep on the couch when the fire broke out. She was woken up by Uber driver Mason Mushcalek and passenger Nathan Quick banging on her door, who were passing by when they saw the fire. Because of this, she made it out of the house safely along with her dog before the Harrisonburg Fire Department arrived on the scene.
“It was a big fire, that thing was huge — we just had to,” Mushcalek said. “It just felt necessary as a human being.”
According to a news release, investigators will return to the scene today to begin an investigation to determine the cause of the fire. Preliminary damage costs have been set at $200,000 — one home in the duplex had “extensive fire, smoke and water damage,” according to the news release. The other had minor damage.
There were no firefighter or civilian injuries. The Breeze will post updates as information arises.
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