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Quick-Moving Blaze In Manassas Damages 8 Homes

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By Patrick Madden

Fire officials in Manassas, Virginia say it could take days to find out what caused a quick-moving, massive fire that destroyed three homes and injured three people.

The fire spread quickly, jumping from home to home. In the end, eight houses were damaged: two were turned into nothing more than giant piles of charred debris.

Authorities say wind helped spread the fire and Manassas Fire and Rescue Chief Mike Wood says the layout of the neighborhood giant new homes made with lightweight construction materials and packed tightly together made the containing the blaze difficult as well.

"As I say, vinyl siding in close proximity with a well advanced fire upon arrival of the fire department presents a unique challenge to the suppression of the effort for us," says Wood.

That view was shared by David E. Carter, one of many neighbors watching the scene this morning.

"The houses were designed and built extremely close together. I mean they are large and beautiful homes, they are extremely close, so I imagine if one home caught fire it would be easy to ignite the one next door," says Carter.

Firefighters are expected to remain on the scene to make sure there are no small brush fires and to assist in the clean-up and recovery effort.

Three people suffered minor injuries in the fire.

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