Family devastated after Roanoke County home destroyed by fire; cause believed to involve wood stove

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Early Tuesday morning, a police officer knocked on Dolly Moran’s door and asked if she knew if anybody was inside a Roanoke County house that was up in flames.

The Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department says crews were dispatched to a residential structure fire shortly after 4:45 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 21 in the 8500 block of Summer View Drive.

“I freaked ’cause I didn’t know if the boy was in there or not,” said Moran.

Fire officials say an adult and a dog were in the house at the time of the blaze, but they managed to escape unharmed.

According to Moran, the man who lived at the home — which was destroyed in the fire — with his dog is Moran’s nephew, but she did not want to share his name.

“I called his mother and his mother came and got him. That’s my sister, too. There’s five girls,” said Moran.

Moran is happy her nephew was out of the house at the time of the fire, but watching it go up in flames was especially painful for her.

“My dad built it years and years and years ago when him and Mama first got married,” she said.

Moran says she and her seven siblings grew up in the home, making it a significant landmark for their family.

The single-story, wood-sided, single-family home — valued at $33,500 — was ruled a total loss after the fire, which likely started because of the wood stove, according to Roanoke County fire officials.

“Going off what the occupant told us, I think he probably had a fire in the wood stove and that was the only other source around where it started,” said Brian Clingenpeel with the Roanoke County Fire and Rescue Department. “So, we feel pretty safe to say it was the wood stove that started that fire.”

Clingenpeel says that a lot of fires happen during the wintertime, so he urges folks to be more careful.

“Make sure anything combustible, or that can burn is kept three feet away from that device,” said Clingenpeel.

Even though it’s hard for Moran to see the destruction at her childhood home, she hopes something positive comes out of this whole ordeal.

“The Bible says something good comes out of bad things, so let’s hope it’s gonna be something good,” said Moran.

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