By Michael R. Moser
Cumberland County firefighters were kept busy over the weekend, responding to four separate residential fires in a 72-hour period, with 13 people left temporarily without a home.
One of the fires — early Sunday morning — at the Matt Kirkland residence in the 1100 block of Brown Creek Dr., is believed to have been set to cover up a burglary during which over a dozen weapons, two televisions and a computer game system were stolen.
Firefighters were called to the residence around 1 a.m. after flames were reportedly seen coming from a window in the living room, according to fire reports. The family of five was not home and no one was injured. Displaced include children ages 8 to 12.
The Cumberland County Sheriff's Department and Fire Department are continuing their investigation into this incident.
The series of fires started Friday morning when firefighters were called to the Retha Cobb residence on Claysville Rd, just off Pomona Rd., just before dawn. The family of five escaped when fire broke out in a bedroom. It is believed the fire was called by an electrical short and the trailer was a total loss.
Friday evening around 7 p.m. firefighters were dispatched to the Carl and Janice Bawgus residence in the 300 block of Brown Creek Dr. where an accidental fire resulted in the total loss of contents and a mobil home with addition added.
The couple also escaped without injury.
Just after firefighters returned to their stations Sunday morning, firefighters were dispatched to the Elizabeth Mullins residence located at the intersection of Glade Creek Rd. and W. Lake Rd. near Pleasant Hill. No one was home, and fire was contained to a front room, but smoke damage was reported throughout the structure.
Cause of that fire was also listed as an electrical short in an outlet.
The local office of the American Red Cross responded to three of the fires to offer assistance and temporary shelter to the victims.