Sunday fire consumes Barnesville house -- Gazette.Net







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This story was corrected on Nov. 14, 2012. An explanation follows.

An accidental fire in Barnesville destroyed a 5,000-square-foot house off Beallsville Road on Sunday night, causing $1.3 million in damage, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Beth Anne Nesselt.

The fire displaced six adults who were living in the house, all of whom escaped the incident without injury, Nesselt said.

Fire officials did not have the names of the occupants available when contacted by The Gazette on Tuesday, Nesselt said.

The owner of the house is George Worthington, his daughter Hayley said. Worthington and his wife Dana have eight children, the youngest of whom is in high school, according to their daughter Hayley. Four of the children were still living at home. They, along with their parents, all escaped safely, she said.

Poolesville residents and officials have begun organizing fundraising events for the Worthington family.

Firefighters, who were dispatched at about 10 p.m. Sunday to the property in the 21100 block of Beallsville Road, arrived to find the house “fully involved,” Nesselt said.

Because of the extent of the conflagration, firefighters assumed a defensive position, fighting the fire from outside of the house, she said. Fire personnel asked for greater resources — tankers with water — to help fight the fire.

At the height of operations at the house, more than 50 firefighters were on the scene, according to Nesselt.

“It was a really rapidly occurring fire that consumed the structure,” she said. “Fortunately, the family were able to successfully escape.”

The house collapsed several hours after fire officials arrived, she added.

“It was still burning. That’s how intense the fire was,” she said.

Investigators determined that the cause of the fire was accidental, Nesselt said Tuesday.

The first fundraising event on the family’s behalf will be at Cugini’s, on Fisher Avenue, in Poolesville, on Wednesday at 7 p.m., according to newly-elected Town Commissioner Valaree Dickerson. Ten percent of the sales at the restaurant that night will go to the Worthington family, Dickerson said, adding that gift cards for the family are preferred.

A second fundraiser, featuring local band, “Smoke n Mangoes,” will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Whalen Commons, in Poolesville, on Saturday, Nov. 24, according to Poolesville Town Hall Events Coordinator Cathy Bupp. (The date was originally scheduled for Nov. 23, but was changed after The Gazette’s deadline Tuesday.)

Carol Clauser, a Poolesville resident, is organizing a donations drive for the family.

In a message on Facebook’s “Town of Poolesville Community Information” page, a private page launched by Poolesville residents, Clauser said she is taking donations for the family at her home on Whites Road.

An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated the homeowner’s first name. Additionally, the couple has eight children in total.