Blaze Kills Madison County Man

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin

June 7, 2005

An arson investigation continues in Madison County tonight after an early morning blaze destroyed a man's home.

Firefighters with Madison and Greene counties got an early wake-up call as a fire ripped through a home leaving one man dead.

It happened around 4:00 a.m. inside a home in the Middle River Retreat Subdivision. First to respond were volunteer firefighters from the Madison County Fire and Rescue Department, but later, counterparts from Greene County arrived at the scene. Both teams knocked the flames out quickly, just not quick enough to save the life of the man inside.

"He was well loved in the neighborhood. Everybody loved him, and he loved everybody," said a neighbor going only by her first name, Julie.

The man who also had a cat inside is described by others in the community as a very caring and loving man who would never hurt anyone. He was someone who had hard times just like any of us, but kept to himself.

Aside from firefighters, the Madison County Sheriff's Office and the Virginia State Police Arson Investigation Unit were also at the scene.

"To determine whether or not the fire was of natural causes, or set by an individual," said Leigh Purdum, a Public Information Officer with Madison County.

Authorities do not suspect foul play, but arson investigators are on-hand because a body was found in the fire.

As with any investigation involving a fatality, the man's name is being withheld pending family notification.

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