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
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