Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Fatal fire in Martinsville
Victim, fire cause not identified
Firefighters work at the scene of Thursday's fatal fire.
Friday, November 21, 2008
The Martinsville Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a fire that claimed the life of one person late Thursday night at 1030 E. Church St.
Fire & EMS crews were dispatched at 11:30 p.m. after a passing motorists saw the fire and alerted officials.
According to a city release, the fire fully engulfed a structure that is believed to have been a garage or storage building in the back yard of the abandoned residence. The building, which was destroyed by the fire, was separate from the house. The blaze appears to have caused some minor damage to the adjacent home.
There was no utility service to the house or the building destroyed by the fire. Investigators believe that someone, likely the victim, started a fire inside a metal trash can using a variety of combustible materials. It is thought that the fire spread from this point, eventually igniting the entire structure. The fire is believed to be an accident.
The body of an adult male was found on the floor of the structure near the trash can, the release states. The identity of the victim and the official cause of death will be determined by an autopsy and investigation. It is believed that the victim likely died of smoke inhalation.
The house and property is registered to Hazel V. Robinson and Geraldine Manson of Mt. Clements, Mich.
The Martinsville Fire Marshal's Office would like to speak with the owners or with anyone who may have information pertaining to this incident. Anyone with information on the case should contact Fire Marshal Ted Anderson at the Martinsville Fire & EMS Department at 403-5325.
The Martinsville Fire & EMS Department was assisted by the Martinsville Volunteer Firefighters, Dyers Store Volunteer Fire Department, Axton Volunteer Fire Department, Martinsville Police Department and Stone Ambulance Service.