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Back when tobacco, the “golden leaf” of Virginia was a celebrated crop, and tobacco auctions were a festive occasion, no one was more celebrated than the market auctioneer.

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Quick thinking saves home on fire

SoVaNow.com / December 05, 2012
A combination of skill and quick thinking by veteran firefighter Evan Stembridge saved the Chase City home of Diana White on Friday when a blaze broke out near her front door.

The fire started about 1:30 p.m. at the 230 High Street home. Almost immediately after arriving at the scene, Fire Chief Winthy Hatcher realized the blaze was electrical in nature. He called for Stembridge, who knew that before dousing the blaze, power had to be cut to the house. He did this by pulling the meter.

Stembridge, who works for Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, said normally “people are not allowed to pull or mess with electric meters. But this was a dire circumstance, and what I did was done to save the house. In a few more minutes it would have been gone.”

With the power cut, firefighters quickly doused the flames. Hatcher credited Stembridge and the rapid response of the team — 2-3 minutes from receipt of the call until the first truck arrived at the scene —with saving the house and its contents.

No one was injured as a result of the fire, and the house sustained only minor damage, mostly smoke related.

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