WEIRTON - A mother and child escaped unharmed from a destructive house fire in southern Hancock County early Monday morning.
The house, at 701 Carothers Road, was destroyed, but the woman, Stephanie Walker, and child were not injured, said fire Lt. Matt Burdick of the Oakland District Volunteer Fire Department.
"When she awoke, the whole front half of her house was on fire, so she just grabbed the child and animals, and out she went," Burdick said, noting that there was a dog in the house.
Walker was awakened by a smoke detector and called 911, he said.
The front of the house was "fully involved" when firefighters arrived shortly after 4:15 a.m. Monday, Burdick said. "It basically ended up gutting the whole house," he said.
Firefighters took an hour and a half to bring the fire under control and another two to three hours to address hot spots, Burdick said.
The cause of the fire is unknown, although it is not considered suspicious, Burdick said. The West Virginia Office of the State Fire Marshal has been called to investigate.
Assisting Oakland firefighters were volunteer fire departments from New Cumberland, New Manchester and Newell. No firefighters were injured.