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West Virginia Conservation Officer Helps Save Home, Possibly Lives

March 14, 2008

Barbour County, WV — A possible tragedy was averted at February 28 at a rural Barbour County residence, according to Capt. Lou DellaMea of the Law Enforcement Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources District 1 Office in Farmington. DNR Conservation Officer Mike Coberly was patrolling in the Valley Furnace area of Barbour County when he saw black smoke coming from the side of a home. Coberly drove to the residence, alerted the residents inside the home and notified Barbour County 911 to dispatch the fire department. The residents were in the house, but had not realized that a fire had ignited at the electric entrance wire on the outside of the house. Officer Coberly was able to extinguish the fire with his vehicle fire extinguisher.

A female resident came out of the house with a container of water to throw on the fire. Officer Coberly prevented her from throwing the water on the live electric wire, possibly preventing her from being electrocuted. Coberly stated that in another 5 minutes the house would have been fully engulfed in flames. The house was located in rural Barbour

County and had a cordless telephone that would not work, due to the electric wire being disabled by the fire.

“The house and possibly some lives would have been lost if not for the quick action of Conservation Officer Mike Coberly,” said Captain DellaMea


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