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Saturday’s fire in Spotsylvania ruled accidental

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

The house after the fire. Click for a larger image.

A Saturday afternoon fire  that destroyed a Spotsylvania County home near the  intersection of Orange Plank  Road and Chancellor Meadows Lane was accidental,  Spotsylvania fire investigators have determined.
 Smoking materials left in a  can on the back deck of the  home caused the blaze, said  Phil Sullivan, Spotsylvania’s  deputy fire marshal.
The fire at 12812 Orange  Plank Road near the Orange  County line killed three dogs  and severely burned a cat  that were inside. The couple  who lived there were in  Washington at the time of  the blaze and came home  after a neighbor called  them.
One firefighter was taken  to Mary Washington Hospital for smoke inhalation, but  his injuries weren’t considered serious.
For the second time in a  month, three firefighters from  the nearest station—Wilderness—could not respond to the  blaze because they were dropping somebody off at Mary  Washington Hospital, Spotsylvania County Fire Chief Chris  Eudailey said Monday. The  county is paying firefighters  overtime to staff Wilderness  and three other rural stations  from 6 p.m. Fridays until 5 a.m.  Mondays because of a lack of  volunteers.
But the overtime pays for  just three employees at each  station—enough to respond  to calls with a fire engine or  an ambulance, but not both.
The Wilderness station  will be fully staffed 24/7 by  November, based on a $4.3  million plan recently approved by the Board of  Supervisors.
 —Staff report

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