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UPDATE: Salem house fire ruled accidental

By David Seidel, Assistant News Director, dseidel@wdbj7.com
Published On: Sep 25 2013 01:52:50 PM EDT
Updated On: Sep 27 2013 01:51:08 PM EDT

The home, which is on Stonegate Drive, appears to be a total loss.

SALEM, Va. -

UPDATE 1:40 p.m. Friday:

The fire on Stonegate Drive in Salem Wednesday has been deemed accidental in nature.

According to Mike Stevens, the fire originated in the attic space of the building and was caused by an electrical short.

The Salem Fire & EMS Department responded to the fire at 1024 Stonegate Drive around 1:00 p.m. Wednesday. The people who live in the home were not inside at the time of the fire.

One dog was inside the home. The pet was removed unharmed by firefighters.

Red Cross representatives assisted the homeowners after the fire.

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UPDATE 9:38 p.m. Wednesday: A fire on Stonegate Drive in Salem Wednesday is still under investigation.

The Salem Fire & EMS Department responded to a the fire at 1024 Stonegate Drive around 1:00 p.m. The people who live in the home were not inside at the time of the fire.

One dog was inside the home. The pet was removed unharmed by firefighters.

The first units arrived within four minutes of receiving the call, according to a news release. They found heavy smoke and fire coming from the roof. There was a significant amount of damage to the home, and it took crews almost two hours to fully extinguish it.

About 35 personnel from Salem Fire and EMS Department, Roanoke Fire-EMS, and Roanoke County Fire and Rescue responded.

Salem Fire & EMS Fire Marshal's Office is still investigating at this time, and there is no damage estimate as of yet.

Red Cross representatives are currently assisting the homeowners.

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UPDATE 4:45:    A bad blow for a family in Salem.  Their house caught fire around one this afternoon.  Eyewitnesses say it took firefighters at least two hours to get it under control.  One of the main challenges was the water supply.  There are fire hydrants in this particular neighborhood on Stonegate Drive, but firefighters say they had to had use some that were farther away for better water pressure.

"It appears to be a total loss right now.  Of course the building official, he is on site and he will make the determination as far as damage," says Fire Chief Pat Counts of the Salem Fire and EMS.

Counts says relying on other fire hydrants did not hinder their response time.  He says flames were already in the attic and spreading by the time his crews arrived on the scene.

 No one was home at the time of the fire.

One firefighter was treated on the scene after complaining of heat exhaustion, but he's okay.    

Crews were able to rescue a family pet.

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Salem firefighters are working to put out a fire on Stonegate Drive.

The fire was reported around 1:00 p.m. Wednesday.  Flames were still coming from the home more than a half-hour later. 

A WDBJ7 crew on the scene said firefighters had to evacuate the house as the fire grew.  One firefighter appeared to be slightly hurt.

Check back here and watch WDBJ7 tonight for more information.