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House fire under investigation

Above is all that’s left of a house off Howard Street in Urbanna after a fire destroyed the structure at about 10:30 p.m. Monday, June 30. The house was engulfed in flames when firemen arrived. The fire is under investigation and arson is suspected, said Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ray Burch. (Photo by Larry Chowning)

by Larry Chowning

A vacant house on Howard Street in Urbanna was totally destroyed by fire that started at about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, June 30, said Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) Chief Ray Burch.

The house, which was for sale, belonged to Connie Deagle and Fred Taylor and was empty of furniture and all other belongings, said Chief Burch.

On Tuesday, the area in front of the house was roped off and arson signs were hanging from the ropes and yellow restriction tape. Chief Burch said he did not want to comment further except to say “there is a suspicion of arson.”

Along with members of the MVFD, members of the Upper Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department and Central Middlesex Volunteer Rescue Squad responded to the fire.

A neighbor, Dale Taylor, said he and others were concerned the fire was going to jump onto nearby properties. “We are very lucky the wind was not blowing last night,” he said on Tuesday.

Taylor pointed to pine trees beside the house that were scorched and noted that if the trees had caught fire, the blaze could have spread onto his property and possibly others.

Chief Burch said the fire is under investigation.

posted 07.02.2014

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