USA — An out of control brush fire spread to an outbuilding and ultimately took the life of an elderly man at a home along Hayes Farm Lane in Elkview.
The road was flooded with first responders when a brush fire broke out about 3 p.m.
Crews believe the brush fire at the home along Hayes Farm Lane continued to grow until it consumed a nearby outbuilding. However, folks at the home weren’t worried about the building but something much more important.
“We were immediately notified that we had a person missing, and when we searched we found the individual just slightly over the hill near the fire,” Clendenin Fire Chief Kevin Clendenin said.
The elderly man was found dead in a burned area of the brush. Officials believe his death was not a direct result from the flames, but family members say he was trying to put them out — something officials strongly advise against.
Assistant Fire Marshall Brad Hartley said, “Whether people realize it or not, this fire can move a lot faster than you can run,” while talking about the danger of brush fires.
He says brush fire deaths are not common in West Virginia, but their danger is often underestimated.
“The wind plays a great deal up a side of a mountain. They will burn down the side of a mountain especially whenever the wind shifts,” Hartley said.
The victim has been sent to the Medical Examiner’s office. The Fire Marshall’s Office and Forestry Division are investigating the cause of the fire.
There was a secondary explosion during the fire from some kind of flammable liquid. Crews at the scene don’t believe it contributed to the victim’s death, but it is part of their investigation.
The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office has released the name of a man who died when a brush fire got out of control Tuesday.
The fire happened on Hayes Farm Lane near Clendenin about 3 p.m.
The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office says Donald Shamblin, 66, was burning brush at his home when the fire got out of control.
Investigators say he died while trying to put the fire out.