Darren Doyle, story and photos
Local firefighters were called to a structure fire at 7400 Wingfield Church Road in Wingfield today, where they found one side of the home of Shirley Cardwell fully engulfed when they arrived.
Brad Sullivan, owner of Sullivan's Tree Service and next door neighbor said he and an employee who lived at the home, Steven Cardwell had returned home from work early because of rain and saw smoke coming from the garage. Both men said they called 911 then grabbed a garden hose and began trying to contain the fire which was only in the garage at the time.
"We just barely missed it," Sullivan said. "We almost had it out when it shot back up into the ceiling. At that point, there was nothing we could do."
Steven Cardwell said he also realized his father was home at the time, on the other end of the house. He said the man was unaware that the home was on fire. "I ran in and told them, Get out, get out now!" he said.
Cardwell said he was able to save the family pets (dogs and cats) except for one cat that wasn't located. They assumed it was lost in the fire.
Firefighters worked through the rain to contain the blaze but what wasn't ruined by the flames was destroyed with smoke and water damage. The cause of the fire was unknown, but began in the garage. One man said it was possible it stemmed from a lawnmower inside. Other speculators mentioned lightning strikes as another possibility.
Fire departments on scene were Wingfield, Chalybeate, Brownsville, and Richardsville. There were no injuries reported.