2/11/2013 11:36 AM
by Karen Franklin
BECKLEY - A family of six and their pet dog were displaced after a fire tore through their home early Monday morning.
Fire officials said the fire began just before 2 a.m. on Beckley Avenue. They said the fire began in the downstairs walls but reached the upper floor when they arrived.
"By the time it broke out, it was fairly well developed," Beckley Fire Chief Billie Trump told WOAY.
Although the home is still structurally sound, the interior was heavily damaged, according to Trump.
"The way this house was constructed -- with the old plaster and lath -- we had to literally tear many of the walls down to dig the fire out," Trump told WOAY. "When you do that sometimes, the damage is so significant in the house that maybe it's more economical just to rebuild the house completely rather than try to remodel from the fire damage."
A homeowner at the scene said that two gerbils perished.
About 15 firefighters were on scene battling the blaze until 9 a.m. The cause of the fire, which officials believe was accidental, is under investigation.