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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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BREAKING NEWS: Fire victim identified
Allen Poole died in blaze, a family member says
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The man who died in Thursday's mobile home fire in Patrick County has been identified as Allen Poole, 49, according to a family member. (Contributed photo)

Friday, November 16, 2012

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

The man who died in Thursday's mobile home fire in Patrick County has been identified as Allen Poole, 49, according to a family member.

See this site and Sunday's Martinsville Bulletin for more details on this story. Below is the article from Friday's Bulletin before Poole was identified:

A person died early Thursday in a blaze that engulfed a rented mobile home in Patrick Springs.

Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said the person’s identity was not being released pending identification, which will require DNA and/or dental records.

The Patrick County dispatch center received the fire call at 1:16 a.m. Thursday, and several county fire departments were summoned to 58 Steele Farm Lane in Patrick Springs, according to Smith, who said the victim was the sole occupant of the mobile home.

Smith said authorities believed the victim was renting the mobile home.

Rene Coleman and her husband, Butch Coleman, were with relatives in a nearby home early Thursday morning when Butch Coleman took their dog out for a walk.

He saw something in the distance and went back into the home to get binoculars, Rene Coleman said. He went back inside and said “‘there’s a trailer on fire,’” she added.

She said the mobile home that caught fire was between two other mobile homes. The homes are far enough apart that there was no danger of the blaze jumping from one to another, she added.

After seeing the blaze, Butch Coleman ran a couple of hundred yards to the mobile homes where he “banged on the trailer doors and” alerted neighbors in the closest home, Rene Coleman said.

“I was screaming at him to be careful as I was running through the yard because stuff was blowing up” as she rushed to dial 911 and report the fire, Rene Coleman said.

An occupant in the first home then went to the mobile home on the far end to alert its occupants, she said. By then, the middle home “was already engulfed,” she said.

“By the time I ran down there, it (the mobile home) was gone. The top caved in within a minute. Then they (rescue workers/fire crews) started hollering, ‘Call an ambulance; we think there’s somebody in there,’” Rene Coleman said.

She added that she “didn’t think anybody could live through that. It exploded.”

Foul play is not suspected, Smith said. The cause of the blaze has not been determined.

Ronnie Steele, who owns the home, went to the fire scene Thursday.

“I just saw the trailer on fire and a lot of fire trucks around,” he said.

The home was destroyed, he said, and added that he does not plan to replace it.

“I’m too old to fool with it anymore,” Steele said. Thursday’s blaze was “the first time anything like this has ever happened to me ... and I hope it’s the last.”

Patrick County Sheriff’s Lt. Betsy Layman and investigator Karen Weidhaas are investigating the incident.


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