Madison Heights Family Loses Home to Electrical Fire

Amherst Co., VA- A family in Madison Heights is homeless after a fire tore through their trailer Wednesday night. This is the second time this week fire has completely ruined a home there.

Sunday night crews responded to a structure fire on Wright Shop Road. Wednesday they responded to a fire just off Old Wright Shop Road.

At about 4:15 p.m. crews responded to the call on Oak Leaf Drive. Gary Roakes, the Amherst County Public Safety Director, says three people lived in the home. One person, a 19-year-old woman, was inside when the fire started. Thanks to help from a neighbor she escaped with only a couple of scratches and bruises.

"She was able to kick out an air conditioning unit in the bedroom she was in, and basically jumped through the window to a neighbor's arms. He was down there on the ground waiting for her to jump," said Roakes.

There were no major injuries but the family did lose two dogs in the flames. A van parked near the trailer also sustained damage from the fire. Roakes says it took fire crews about 15 minutes to put out the fire in the trailer, but things got complicated when several propane tanks behind the trailer caught fire. Firefighters spent another hour trying to keep the tanks from exploding.

"Kept the tanks cool, also tried to go in and cut the valves off, all the valves had burned off of it. So we just kept the tanks cool, let them to continue to burn off by themselves until all the gas was burned up in the tanks. We contacted the propane company to come pick those tanks up tonight," said Roakes.

Roakes says the fire started in the kitchen from electrical issues. We also spoke with the owner of the trailer but she did not want to go on camera. She says they do not have insurance, and she and her kids will be staying with family until they figure out their next step.