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3 houses burn in separate fires

Three houses in the county burned to the ground over a two-week period in December.

The first of the fires was Dec. 11 on Highway 254. The house, owned by Dwaine Miller, was a total loss, according to Dennard Fire Chief Mike Banks.

Banks said the roof was on the ground when firefighters arrived. The call came in around 10:50 p.m. He said Miller was home at the time but escaped the blaze.

A neighbor told the Democrat that Miller was awakened by a loud noise and when he opened a door, the fire “whooshed” toward him, singeing his eyebrows. Miller ran to a neighbor’s house to call for help.

Dennard and Botkinburg fire departments responded to the call. The cause of the fire is unknown.

On Dec. 23, a house on Shake Rag Road was destroyed by fire. The emergency call came in at 10:12 p.m. The house was owned by Mike England, according to records. No one was injured. Culpepper Fire Department responded to the call. The Choctaw Fire Department was called off because the road to the house was bad and the house was already a loss.

At 7:47 a.m. Christmas morning, the call came in that a house at 107 Halfmoon Loop was on fire. The house, owned by Vernon Barnett, was a total loss, according to Highway 110 Fire Chief Lucas Emberton. He said about a dozen firefighters responded in a matter of minutes, but the house was fully engulfed.

The occupants of the home were out of town and no one was injured, Emberton said.

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