Deadly house fire in Dinwiddie County

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) – A house fire leaves a man dead and investigators are looking for answers.

The fire happened on Christmas Eve in the 7000 block of Claiborne Road in Dinwiddie County. Fire crews say they faced a water supply issue while fighting the blaze.

In the rural parts of the county, where the fire unfolded, you won't find any pressurized fire hydrants - so firefighters who responded had to use another method to get water -- one that takes time. They used a dry hydrant. It's a pipe system in a body of water that provides a suction supply of water to a fire department tank truck.

"Once the first truck went empty it had to leave the site of the fire -- go all the way to the draft site to fill up then come back, said Ryan Morris, a firefighter with Namozine Fire Department.

Problem is the dry hydrant is about a mile away from where the burning home was located.

"We had 3 trucks that were shuttling water to us and we actually ran out of for a little while because we had to go and set it up," said Morris.

Firefighters say the dry hydrant system works but at times can hamper efforts. Neighbors agree.

"We just understand that's the way it is unfortunately. It's a concern but it's a part of rural living and I think most people who've been here for a long time know that," said resident Linda Fitzgerald.

Firefighters recommend that folks living in rural areas get a dry hydrant installed on their property.

"If you have a water source near your property or on your property see about getting a dry hydrant set up there," said Morris.

Typical fire hydrants are on just about every corner or so in the more populated parts of the county. The person who was inside the burning home on Christmas Eve didn't make it out alive.

Firefighters say the time spent fighting the fire and getting water to the scene played no role in the man's death. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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