CLIFTON FORGE, Va. – A retired Alleghany County deputy has died after a fire that left his wife in critical condition.
The fire started in the kitchen of a home in the 100 block of Falcon Ridge Road, which is in the Clifton Forge area of Alleghany County. The 911 call came in at 10:20 p.m. Thursday.
Barry Rose died Friday morning. His wife, Joyce, is in critical condition at the VCU Medical Center.
Barry and Joyce Rose both used wheelchairs, according to a neighbor. Ryan Muterspaugh, public safety director for Alleghany County, said the couple's disabilities factored in their inability to escape.
Barry Rose was retired and in his late 60s, according to an Alleghany County deputy who knew Rose. Rose formerly worked as a deputy with the Alleghany County Sheriff's Office. He was also a DARE officer, and worked for multiple local fire departments over the course of his career.
Five fire departments responded, and a sixth was on standby. Over 50 emergency workers were on the scene. Crews left around 2 a.m.
While the cause is unknown, investigators say the fire started in the kitchen.
Muterspaugh said this has been very hard for the first responders and the community as a whole. Many people who knew the couple say they were well-known and well-respected.
Weather prevented a helicopter transport crew from responding.
The investigation is ongoing.