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‘It’s a tragic loss’: Neighbors, firefighters react to deadly Danville fire

Fire blamed on heating equipment

DANVILLE, Va.Update

A husband and wife have been identified as the victim’s in Monday’s fatal fire.

According to a news release Tuesday evening, Wesley Delaney, 62, and his wife Dawn, 51, died.

The fire is being blamed on improper use of a wood stove.

Original story

Charred wood, rubble and ash are all that’s left after an early Monday morning fire in Danville left two people dead.

Neighbors told 10 News they woke up to the sounds of sirens and saw smoke and flames coming from the home, located at 18 Oakland Avenue.

Neighbors said that a man and a woman lived inside the home.

“You just wish there was something that could have been done beforehand,” said Danville Fire Department Captain Darryl Turpin.

Fire officials said that a neighbor called 911 just before 4 a.m., but by the time fire crews got there six minutes later, the home was engulfed in flames and it was too dangerous for them to go inside.

They eventually got the fire under control around 5:30 a.m. Turpin said the home’s tin roof posed a challenge for crews fighting the flames.

“Sometimes when you have a very well-advanced fire like that and the structure starts to collapse, that tin can cover some of the spots that you want to extinguish,” Turpin said.

Investigators are still working to identify the victims and determine the cause of the fire.

Turpin said their deaths are a tragic loss for the victims’ families, the community and the fire department.

“Some stresses are more difficult than others. I’ll tell you there are some I carry today,” said Turpin. "It’s a tragic loss for anybody.”

The fire department has a response team to help firefighters deal with the stress of tragic fires like this one. Turpin said if anyone in the community is having trouble coping, they can reach out to the department.

It is unclear whether the home had a working smoke detector or not. Turpin said, nevertheless, this is an important reminder that everyone needs to have working smoke detectors in their house.

“That is one of the first and best defenses that you can have for preserving your life in the case of a fire,” Turpin said.


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