An early Wednesday morning house fire in the 4000 block of Franklin Turnpike is under investigation by Pittsylvania County Fire Marshal Jeff Conner.

The home, which is located next to the Apple Market below Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, is a total loss.

“The gas station was not in operation at the time of the fire. The pumps were already shut off,” Conner said.

The tenants staying in the home worked second shift at their place of employment according to Conner. Both returned home, saw black smoke, and called 911.

Neighbors Barry and Barbara Easom also reported the fire when they realized what was going on.

“I heard a big boom... and then I heard what sounded like firecrackers,” Barbara Easom said.

Her husband called 911 after she discovered the blaze.

“When I looked out [the back door] I saw heavy fire off the back [of the house],” Barbara Easom said.

Power to nearby residences was cut while crews battled the fire according to Conner. It was restored some time during the morning.

Cold conditions with temperatures in the 20s made the fire difficult to battle according to Conner.

In all, Blairs, Mt. Hermon, Dry Fork, Mt. Cross, and Tunstall Volunteer Fire Departments worked to extinguish the blaze. Fire Marshall Conner has been on scene since after the call came in.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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