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Fire victim mourned
Sister: Poole didn't know how much he was loved
Sunday, November 18, 2012
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The man who died in a mobile home fire Thursday did not realize how many lives he touched, the number of people who cared for him or that his loss would leave a permanent void, his sister said.
“He just didn’t realize how much he was really loved,” said Marilyn Cassady, who said her brother, Allen Poole, 49, died Thursday when the mobile home he rented in Patrick Springs caught fire.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the remains pending DNA and dental records tests.
“But we are 100 percent positive it was him, and I know the worst is yet to come when we go through his service,” Cassady said.
According to an obituary, Poole’s memorial service will be at 3 p.m. today in Stuart United Methodist Church.
Authorities also have not publicly released the cause of the blaze.
Cassady, of Bassett, said the family was told the blaze began in the kitchen and authorities had speculated to family members that Poole “may have put something on the stove and laid down and went to sleep.”
Authorities received the fire call at 1:16 a.m. Thursday, and several county fire departments responded to the scene at 58 Steele Farm Lane in Patrick Springs.
Foul play is not suspected, authorities have said.
Poole, who worked at Results of Stuart, had lived in the mobile home six to seven months before his death, Cassady said.
The fire basically obliterated his mobile home, she said. “It burned up everything. The whole thing is gone. The top just fell completely to the bottom. Even his car is gone. There is nothing left.”
Nothing, that is, but memories, Cassady said.
She recalled that “music was his life. He loved to play the keyboard and sing. He loved people. He didn’t have any children of his own, but he loved everybody else’s,” she said.
Poole loved “any type of music — country, gospel — he played at our church. There wasn’t any type of music” he didn’t like, Cassady said.
He also adopted stray animals, and had three dogs and one cat at the time of his death, Cassady said.
“One of his little dogs laying in the back bedroom” was found dead “on what was left of the bed,” Cassady said.
The cat and two other dogs escaped from the blaze.
Cassady saw her brother the day before he died.
“He just happened to be off from work that day,” Cassady said, so she, Poole and their niece, Shawna Poole, rode up U.S. 58 to Lover’s Leap and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Shawna Poole referred to Allen Poole simply as “uncle,” Cassady said.
The three spent Wednesday “just goofing off,” Cassady said. They stopped at several businesses, and Poole bought some butter beans to prepare, she said.
That afternoon, Cassady and Shawna dropped Allen Poole at his home.
“We hugged him and we told him we loved him,” Cassady said. Shawna, who plans to move out of state, told Poole “‘I guess this is the last time I’m going to see you in a while.’”
Poole hugged his niece. “He told her he loved her and would see her later,” Cassady said.
But shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday, Shawna Poole “came in and jumped in bed with me,” Cassady said. “She was screaming, ‘It’s uncle ... it’s uncle. He’s dead ... He’s dead.’”
Cassady tried to comfort her niece, who is prone to having bad dreams.
“I said, ‘we’re going to wake up ... This is just a bad dream we’re having,’” Cassady said. “I wish it had been.”