House was empty at time of fire, and no one was injured

A fire destroyed at guest house at Camp Bryan Tuesday, but the structure was empty and no one was injured.

Fire fully engulfed the one-bedroom, single-story structure as fighters arrived shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Robbie Wilson, farm manager and game hand at Camp Bryan, said the building is owned by Camp Bryan Farms, an exclusive hunting camp that dates back to the 1800s.

“It’s a guest house for guests that come to stay with my family,” Wilson said. “My family uses that when they come to visit for Thanksgiving.”

Wilson’s wife Kristin discovered the fire after seeing smoke near the back of the house. The Wilsons live next door.

“It was mostly just a house for the caretakers out here to use,” said Bryan Daniels, who once lived next door to the destroyed house. “I don’t know what caused it to catch fire.”

Firefighters also did not have an official cause of the blaze on Tuesday.

Shortly after firefighters arrived, a propane tank caught fire, sending an intense jet of flame off to the back of the house, igniting nearby trees.

Firefighters focused much of their attention and water hoses on the leaking tank as they fought the fire at the house.

“The fact that it had already burst and was going like it was, we wanted to make sure it kept going,” said Larry Curtis, assistant chief for the Township Six Volunteer Fire Department. “We didn’t want to put it out because if there was that much gas coming out, it could go to the lowest part of the ground and the next thing you know we could have some burned firefighters.”

“So what we did was we kept water on it to keep it cool because there’s supposed to be 60 percent still in it. I don’t want to take a chance of it popping off again. Any kind of a spark will set it off, so we’re going to keep it cool.”

Fire companies from Newport, Havelock, Township Six, Harlowe and Broad and Gales responded to the fire, bringing eight trucks. No firefighters were injured in the blaze.