House fire in Piedmont leaves family reeling

Ashley Paugh and Cody Runner stand in front of the charred remains of the duplex they were in the process of moving into at 136 E. Piedmont St., in Piedmont, W.Va., on Friday. Volunteer firefighters from three counties fought the blaze for several hours after being alerted at 12:30 a.m. The last crews left just before 6 a.m., the Mineral County 911 Center reported.

PIEDMONT, W.Va. — Ashley Paugh said she was in Keyser with her boyfriend, Cody Runner, watching fireworks late Thursday when she received a call from her younger brother, T.J., saying that her house was on fire.

Paugh then called her mother, Nicole Hanlin, with the news. "I was kind of like in shock really," Hanlin said Friday.

The fire, that was reported at 12:30 a.m., engulfed the front half of the double duplex at 136 East Hampshire St. in flames. 

Hanlin, whose name is on the deed to the house along with her son and daughter, said she has been in the process of moving out of the uninsured property due to its age. Her son, Robert Paugh, and daughter Ashley were in the process of moving in.

According to the family, two family dogs and four cats were missing when they looked through the debris on Friday. However, Robert Paugh's dog, a terrier named Sadie, and Ashley's dog, named Isabel, reportedly escaped the flames and were found lying underneath a pool table. The terrier had burns on its hind legs, and was taken to a veterinarian for treatment, Hanlin said. 

Ashley Paugh was able to rescue some family photos from the house's charred remains. 

Otherwise, most everything else — everyone's clothes, Robert's guns and all of Ashley's 2-year-old son's valuables — were lost to the flames. 

"We really don't know what happened," Ashley Paugh said. "We lost basically everything in the house."

Hanlin said fire officials told her that the fire could have been caused by faulty wiring, fireworks or arson. The family said that the water and electric had been turned off to the house at the time of the fire. 

The Times-News was unable to contact officials with the Tri-Towns Volunteer Fire Company for comment. 

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