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Firefighters battle blaze in South Boston; resident dies (UPDATED)

South Boston News
The fire scene on Crawley Avenue / February 18, 2020
A fire that broke out at 1929 Crawley Avenue in South Boston at 11:41 a.m. Tuesday has claimed the life of the home's occupant, Carolyn Faulkner Edmondson.

Family members and neighbors said Ms. Edmondson, 75, was in ill health and had limited mobility. She usually stayed seated in front of her wood stove inside the home, which family members said had been her family for nearly 200 years.

Larry Faulkner, her brother and the last sibling of seven, was at the scene Tuesday with a niece and nephew, Julanda Howard Tucker and Brian Strange, as first responders attempted to save Ms. Edmondson and bring the fire under control.

Julanda Tucker said she had spoken to her aunt on the telephone Tuesday morning. “She was sitting at her wood stove like always when we talked,” said Tucker. 

Flames and billowing black smoke poured out of the second story windows of the wood frame dwelling as firefighters used axes to tear away the walls in order to get at flames.

The South Boston, Cluster Springs and Halifax departments arrived quickly after the initial call came in, bringing trucks and manpower to the scene. The Halifax County Rescue Squad also responded.

The residence, which sits on the corner of Crawley Avenue and Ridge Street across from New St. Luke Apostle Church, was destroyed by the fire.

The victim's remains are being taken to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke to determine the cause of death. An investigation into how the fire started is ongoing. The South Boston Police Department is being assisted in this investigation by the Bomb and Arson Unit of the Virginia Sate Police in an effort to try and determine the fire's cause and origin.

This story will be updated.

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