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Stoneleigh fire burns man
Blaze does not damage mansion
A firefighter walks in front of a burning truck at the Stoneleigh property on Wednesday night. The truck driver drove over the fill valve of a 1,000-gallon underground propane tank, causing what was initially reported to police as an explosion heard several miles away. The driver suffered burns. The home was not damaged, but a basketball goal (at left) on the property was. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Thursday, November 15, 2012
By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer
A man suffered burns in a fire on the grounds of the historic Stoneleigh mansion in Stanleytown early Wednesday night.
Junior Lynch, chief of the Bassett Fire Department, said the man handles maintenance at Stoneleigh. It appeared he was driving a pickup that ran over the fill valve of an in-ground 1,000-gallon propane tank and a fire erupted, Lynch said.
The man was taken to a landing zone at Stanleytown Elementary School to be flown by helicopter to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., Lynch said. He added that he was not sure of the man’s name.
The fire department was dispatched to the scene about 6:05 p.m., Lynch said. About 7 p.m., the pickup still was sitting over top of the fill valve/propane tank. Firefighters were letting the gas burn out before putting the pickup fire out, Lynch said.
He said the truck was about 75 feet from the mansion, and no property damage was done except to a basketball goal. A small brush fire started, but it was not threatening the home, Lynch said.
About 9:30 p.m., Lynch said firefighters removed the truck about 9 p.m. and put out hot spots. He said the gas still was burning off and that the gas may burn most or all through the night.
In addition to Bassett Fire Department, the Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and Henry County Public Safety responded to the scene.
Stoneleigh, in the 300 block of Edgewood Drive in Stanleytown, was built by late Virginia governor Thomas Stanley and took three years to complete. Construction was finished in 1929, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, according to Martinsville Bulletin articles.