A house fire displaced 14 people Tuesday in Big Stone Gap, the town’s fire chief said.
The fire was reported after 2 p.m. at a home on West 2nd Street near the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park.
Fire Chief Billy Chandler said that when firefighters arrived heavy smoke and flames could be seen. It had gone up the second floor of the home. With assistance from the Valley Volunteer Fire Department and Appalachia Fire Department, the flames were eventually extinguished, but the house was a total loss, Chandler said.
“Everyone was out and safe,” the chief said.
The home was occupied by a man and woman, a son, an infant male and 10 foster children, ages 4-18. The Red Cross is assisting the family with accommodations. Chandler said the family has insurance, but is likely in need of clothing. He had no information yet as to how the public can assist the family.
The Big Stone Gap Police Department is investigating the cause of the fire, but Chandler said he does not suspect anything suspicious.
As firefighters were battling the house fire, Chandler said one of the department’s fire engines caught fire at the scene.
“Flames were coming from under the engine compartment,” Chandler said.
The stand-alone vehicle fire was likely caused by mechanical problems, he added.