Fire demolishes lakefront home

Contributed by Judy Fish, Lake Monticello News

The Lake Monticello Fire Department and Palmyra and Fork Union Fire companies along with the Lake Monticello Rescue Squad were dispatched to 4 Campbell Court in Lake Monticello Tuesday (March 1) at approximately 9:28 p.m. for a reported structure fire with flames visible, Lake Monticello Fire Chief Ritchie Constantino said. 

“The Fluvanna County 911 Dispatch office received numerous calls reporting the fire,” the chief said, adding that one of the calls came from LMOA General Manager Tom Schauder, who lives across the water from the fire and captured the photo shared by the chief.

“Upon arrival to the scene, the firefighters were faced with a large fire consuming the entire residence with flames already through the partially collapsed roof,” Chief Constantino said, adding that as the incident commander, he was advised by neighbors that the residence was vacant and undergoing major renovations and the occupant was staying out of state during the renovations.

Firefighters attempted to conduct a primary search and rescue of the premises for any possible victims, however, were beaten back by a large volume of flames and collapsed flooring, according to Constantino. “The team attacked the fire with several handlines and employed a deck gun which delivers a master stream of 500 gallons a minute to extinguish the blaze,” he said, adding that the fire was quickly knocked down, so a limited search for victims could be undertaken. No victims were found.

“The firefighters met with several challenges to completely extinguish the fire by the many concealed spaces within the residence that hide fire, and the instability of the structure,” said Costantino, who is investigating the fire. While the cause and origin of the fire is currently under investigation by Lake Monticello Fire Department Investigators, foul play is not suspected at this time, he added.

No firefighters or civilians were injured, and the Lake Monticello Rescue Squad was on the scene to provide firefighter rehabilitation and to monitor the firefighter’s vital signs, Constantino said.

The electricity to the structure was turned off at the street by Dominion Power.

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