“The house was burning so bad, so fast”: Neighbor reacts to fatal fire in downtown Beckley neighborhood

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Fire crews were on the scene of a fatal house fire late Christmas Day near the 300-block of E St. in Beckley.

The body of a woman was found towards the rear of the house, according to a Beckley Fire Incident Commander on the scene.

The crews cleared the scene by 10:50 p.m. of the fire that started around 6:30 that evening.

With still no word on what actually caused the fire, neighbors are left to only speculate on what they saw from the tragic occurrence.

“It was Christmas, we were all sitting in the living room, and my cousin, he was actually praying in the back yard, and he was like, ‘Y’all there’s a fire.’ We come to the window and the right side of the house is up in flames, it was getting bad really fast,” says Lauren Schofield, a neighbor who lives right across the street from the occurrence.

“And we were like, ‘What can we do?’ It was so big already. So, my cousin called the police, they got here in a timely manner, but the house was just burning so bad so fast,” she says.

Lauren and her family had thought the house was empty at the time of the occurrence, and she says that this wasn’t the first incident having to involve the police and first-responders to happen at the house, saying often the incidences there were drug-related.

“They’ve had several overdoses in the past few months, the police are always here, the ambulances are always here, as well,” Schofield says.

One man was able to escape the house before it was completely engulfed in the flames.

State Fire Marshalls are now working with the Beckley Fire Department and PD to find out what caused the fire and gather further evidence.

We will give more information on the incident as it becomes available.

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