Detector destroyed in Augusta Sheriff's fire

The wife of Augusta County Sheriff Randy Fisher smelled smoke before the smoke detector sounded during a September 22 fire at the couple's residence, according to Mike Fisher, Chief of the Dooms Volunteer Fire Company in Augusta.

At around 12:30am, Mrs. Fisher was awakened by the smell of smoke. She "went down the hallway to the kitchen thinking neighbors were burning something," says Chief Fisher (no relation to the Sheriff). "When she came back up the hall to the bedroom, the smoke detector sounded. Her husband was working downstairs, and she yelled for him to come back upstairs."

The Fishers escaped from the house with their two dogs, but by the time firefighters responded, the flames had spread from the attic– where an electrical fire likely started, according to Chief Fisher– into the main living area.

In most Augusta County fire investigations, fire officials determine the type of detector present, says Chief Fisher. The detector at Sheriff Fisher's home was completely destroyed, says Chief Fisher, so identifying whether it was photoelectric or ionization was impossible. Chief Fisher says he didn't see any other smoke detectors present in the house.

Sheriff Fisher has not returned the Hook's repeated calls.