Fire Leaves Family Homeless

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

March 15, 2005

A three-story home in Albemarle County burned to the ground this afternoon, and neighbors in the area say it was a frightening sight to see.

"I was sick to my stomach just to see someone's home being destroyed, and it makes you think of your own home and what you'd do in that situation," commented Libby Tabbart.

Ned Flack, another neighbor, said the fire shocked him. "It scared me to death to see all of the fire trucks, and you never know if it's your house, or someone else's home. Either way, it's tragic."

Fire officials arrived on the scene around noon to find heavy smoke coming from the home, located at 475 Grassmere Road. Neighbors say the building burned quickly. "I was back within 15 minutes and it was down to the ground," said Tabbart. "It was a beautiful three-story home and it was just ablaze, and I knew that it was gone when I saw it."

Fire Marshal Bob Lowry said that the flames were intense and commented that his crews worked hard to salvage what they could. "We were able to save an adjacent structure from catching fire due to the wind condition and volume of the fire."

There was one minor injury believed to be smoke inhalation, and neighbors said they are relieved nobody was seriously hurt. "I just feel great that they got out, but certainly my heart goes out to them since they lost their house and everything," said Flack.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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