Elderly Couple Hurt In Fire

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin
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March 15, 2006

Firefighters from six different departments were needed to fight a fire that sent two people to the hospital. The fire started around 5:00 a.m. Wednesday, and continued to pose a threat to the the community around 12:00 p.m.

An Albemarle County couple woke up to the sounds of fire trucks early Wednesday morning and found out the home where they were sleeping was on fire.

"We dispatched the brush trucks to the scene, and found that there was a fire in the woods, and it was threatening a structure," said Bob Larsen with the Crozet Volunteer Fire Company.

Nearly 30 firefighters from six area fire departments spent close to three hours battling the fire on the 2100 block of Owensville Road.

"[It] escalated to being a full structure fire rather quickly," added Larsen.

The fire spread quickly from the brush and onto the home. It destroyed the home belonging to the two people that were inside when it started.

"They're elderly. They've been stabilized, and taken to the University of Virginia for smoke inhalation," added Larsen.

Firefighters say the couple, Edward and Renee Adams, lived in the neighborhood for quite some time. In fact, it was a long-time neighbor who helped get them outside the house, and into an area free of smoke with lots of wind.

While the wind may have helped the Adams couple, mixed with lots of moisture, it caused extra problems for firefighters. Already dealing with lots of brush fires, they want to take the law a step further.

"With the high winds, and over thirty days of no measurable moisture-- although it's legal to burn after 4:00 p.m., we would very much like to people to be wise and not do any burning at this time," added Larsen.

Crews are looking at whether power lines lying on the home caused the fire, or if the fire started inside the home. There's also the possibility of it starting from brush burning nearby. With that, firefighters have to rule out the chance of the home actually causing the brush to catch fire.

Edward Adams' condition is good, and Renee Adams' condition is critical. Both are being treated at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

The Albemarle County Fire Marshal's Office says a good samaritan helped get the Adams into a car, and over to a safe place away from the fire. The office would like the person who helped the Adams to call their office. The number is (434) 296-5833.

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