Four Die in Virginia Mobile Home Fire

Four people, including a 9-year-old boy, died as a result of a fire Friday night at a mobile home near Churchville (VA), reports The News Virgian.

The Virginia State Police identified the deceased as Charles E. Stokes Jr., 40, and Sharon E. Stokes, 47, and their son, Matthew J. Stokes, 9. A grandmother, Wilda J. Stokes, also died.

Lewis G. Stokes, 67, husband of Wilda Stokes, survived the fire and was taken for medical treatment, where he was treated and released.

The fire's cause and origin had not been determined Saturday, state police said, but six fire departments were on the scene for five hours from Friday night into Saturday morning investigating, cleaning and making sure no hot spots flared up, said Swoope Volunteer Fire Company Chief Kevin Wilkes.

Wilkes said his department was dispatched to the fire on Bolling Heights Lane about 10 p.m. Friday, as he and several other firefighters were headed to a late dinner.

An engine and tanker from Swoope traversed the four miles to the fire scene near Churchville.

Wilkes said the initial report was of a "large orange glow" coming from the top of the hill.

He said the quick response of his agency and the Churchville Fire Department contained the damage to the 70-foot-long mobile home.

Walls were left standing because of the firefighters' response and quick extinguishing of the fire.

However, Wilkes said someone who escaped from the mobile home tipped off firefighters that people were still inside.

"We put together an attack team with thermal-imaging cameras," he said.

They went inside the narrow single-wide home. Four people were brought outside, including three who died at the scene. A fourth died en route to the hospital, Wilkes said.

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