Fire destroys Newport home

From staff reports

A home in Newport was deemed a complete loss after a fire Wednesday morning.

The structure at 1815 Long Run Road was fully engulfed by the time the first truck responded, according to Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks.

The property is owned by brothers Craig and Steven Sharp.

“Everybody got out safely,” added Mincks.

He said Newport, Reno, Fearing, Williamstown and St. Marys fire departments all responded to the call around 11:30 a.m.

In 2009, the home was at the center of a case involving elder abuse and animal cruelty. The following year, Steven Sharp was sentenced to 17 months in prison for elder abuse. He was convicted of keeping his 81-year-old mother at the home in deplorable conditions. When found by law enforcement, the woman was covered in filth, fleas and lice and had about a dozen cats crawling on her. She was believed to have been suffering from dementia and was severely dehydrated and malnourished.

In addition, 26 malnourished, diseased dogs were on the property, along with 30 cats, all of which had to be euthanized.

As of Wednesday evening, the cause of the fire was not yet known.

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