WELLSBURG, W.Va. (WTRF)

Tragic news out of Brooke County.

Two people are dead, two others injured in a fatal house fire.

2 confirmed dead in residential structure fire in Wellsburg

The morning started much of the same for next door neighbor Norman Schwertfeger as he let his dogs out at 3 am.


Until banging at his door made it a day he will never forget.

“I come out to the door and my neighbor’s at the door and she’s black, she’s beating on the door and she’s black, and she’s hollering call 911 Norm, call 911 they’re all dead, they’re all dead.”

Norman Schwertfeger – Next Door Neighbor

He ran to grab the phone to call for help.


As fire and police arrived on scene the two people that made it out had severe burns and were transported to the hospital.

“3:48 this morning we were alerted for structure fire, crews arrived to find a heavy fire from the residence, two patients self extricated.”

Chief Gerald McClain – Franklin Community VFD

“Fire departments got right on it and did an excellent job of trying to contain but it was, it was bad, the whole side of the house came down.”

Norman Schwertfeger – Next Door Neighbor

Brooke County Sheriff Richard Beatty says it was a matter of minutes from the initial call to when crews first arrived on scene.

Sadly despite all their efforts two men were found dead inside the home.

“They did their darndest out there, but unfortunately the house was completely ingulfed by flames when they arrived. It’s terrible, terrible, terrible, just terrible.”

Sheriff Richard Beatty – Brooke County Sheriff’s Department

The house is a total loss.

West Virginia State Fire Marshals say the cause of the fire is undetermined due to extensive heat damage.
The names of the victims have yet to be released as they locate next of kin.

Officials say it took about six hours after the initial 911 call to locate both men in the home.
Both are being transported to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Charleston.

The Franklin Community VFD was assisted on scene by Wellsburg VFD, Hooverson Heights VFD and McKinleyville VFD, Brooke County EMA, EMS, and the Sheriff’s Department.