Friends say woman and her two great grandsons died in Buchanan house fire

3 dead, 3 in hospital, cause remains under investigation


Nothing is left in the burned rubble of what used to be a home in the Lithia area of Buchanan.

Around 2:45 Saturday morning, the Buchanan Volunteer Fire Company said they were called to the house fire.

“We were dispatched to a structure fire (on) Delong Lane off of Lithia Road with reports of occupants still in the structure,” Fire Chief Craig Bryant said.

Bryant said they found the house heavily engulfed in flames and it took them three hours to quell the fire. 

“There were three occupants transported to the hospital, and there were three other occupants that succumbed to the fire,” Bryant said.

Although fire officials haven't released the names of the victims, family friends on Facebook said that Sandy Secrist and her two great grandsons are the victims of the fatal fire. They also tell WSLS there are three survivors, two of them are in the burn unit with significant injuries. 

WSLS 10’s Magdala Louissaint spoke with Secrist 's best friend of 37 years. She said, Secrist was a “kind, giving, and compassionate woman." She added, "I have no doubt that Sandy lost her life trying to save her great grandchildren.”

“This is a tough tragedy to accept around Christmas and New Year’s, and the only person that knows why is God," a neighbor said.

“This is a tragic event for the Buchanan community. This sent shockwaves through the entire area. This is a small area. Everybody knows everybody. We're friends, family with each other, and we're just saddened by this type of event,” Bryant said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

There is a GoFundMe set up to help the family with medical expenses. Click here to donate.


Three people are dead after an early morning house fire in the Lithia area of Buchanan. 

Botetourt County Fire and EMS said crews responded to reports of a fire in a home with residents still inside around 2:45 a.m. Saturday. 

When multiple crews arrived, they found the home heavily engulfed in flames. Three occupants of the home were found outside, suffering from varying degrees of burns. They were immediately transported to the Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. 

The injured reported that three other occupants were not accounted for. Crews said they later found those three people dead. 

The bodies of the victims were transported to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke. Their names are not yet being released.

Fire crews spent several hours putting out the flames. Investigators have been on scene throughout the day attempting to determine the cause of the fire. 

You can donate to this GoFundMe page to help the family.

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