Family left homeless

Luray panoramic

February 2, 1966 — An eight-room two- story frame dwelling located back of the ball park at Stanley was destroyed by fire about 12:50 a.m. Sunday. Stanley and Luray firemen fought the blaze in a blinding snowstorm, near zero weather and about 14 inches of snow on the ground.

The home was occupied by Mrs. Ollie Dean, six children and one grandchild. All escaped from the burning structure in their night clothes and house coats. All of their belongings were lost except the clothes they had on and a few pieces of furniture which were carried out of the house.

Mrs. Dean said her oldest daughter, Patsy, 18, discovered the fire when she saw smoke pouring from an unoccupied room on the second floor. She hastily dressed and aroused her two sisters, Doris, 16, and Mary Lee, 13. Mrs. Dean was sleeping on the second floor with Sue, 11 months, Larry Wayne, 5, Edward, 6 years, and a grandson, Tony, age 14 months.

After getting out of the home, the family made their way to the home of Alton Lowery across the road where they spent the night and also Sunday night.

The fire is thought to have started from an overheated stove. The fire had gained such a headway by the time firemen arrived that the home was gutted. Streets and roads were almost impassable.

Luray Fire Department took a pumper and the emergency water tank truck to the fire. Luray Fire Chief Maurice Judd and four other firemen, Guy Gladwell Jr., Edward Painter, Carroll Middleton and Clifton Campbell, had decided to spend Saturday night at the Luray Fire Hall in order to answer any emergencies and were soon on the way to Stanley after the alarm came in.

The burned house belonged to Reuben Alger. Stanley Fire Chief Aubrey Foltz estimated the lost at $4,000. 

~ From the public archives of the Page News and Courier


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