August 10, 2006
A 100 year old Albemarle County home was destroyed by fire. Thanks to the quick-thinking of a couple drivers along Stony Point Road, two dogs are still alive.
Two dogs were pulled from the home in the 5000 block of Stony Point Road which was up in flames around 1:00 p.m. Thursday. Drivers were able to see smoke for miles, and emergency attention was only given after three people driving by called 911, while others kept going.
"We were driving down here, there was all this smoking coming up into the air. It was maybe 100 feet high," said witness David Byrne.
"I saw a big plume of smoke and I assumed it was a burn-pile, which are pretty common [around here]," said witness Axie Blundon.
The two people minding their own business while riding in their cars along Stony Point Road did not think much of it until they got a little closer.
"The whole house was just smoking, and fire was coming out of all the windows and everything. It's the biggest fire we've ever seen," added Byrne.
"I immediately turned around, pulled in their drive-way, ran up and started yelling for people--if anyone was up there--[then] came back to the road [and] tried to hail down a car," said Blundon.
Quick-thinking by those two men got the attention of firefighters desperately needed at the time. It took 30 of them from five fire departments to get the fire under control. Water was not a concern even during the dry weather.
"When a call comes in for a fire in a rural setting, we have a system that is established, that is in place to shuttle water from a dry hydrant to the point of need," said Assistant Chief of the Stony Point Fire Department Jack Mellott.
Firefighters were not able to find the cause of the fire in the two story home. No one was inside when it happened, but crews were able to save two dogs who needed air, and a minute to relax.
It's an experience those who live in the home will never know, or at lease can never tell. However, it is also one that vacationers from Hawaii will never forget.
"Boy, this is something we'd never expected here. We were just traveling around this beautiful country, and this house was on fire," added Byrne.
Firefighters still have not determined the cause of the fire, and are continuing their investigation. There were items inside the home which suggest someone lived there.
The little pugs pulled from the burning home will be taken care of by firefighters until the owners can claim him. They will be turned over to the SPCA if the owner does not come forward.