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Sisters escape as fire razes brick home

South Boston News / February 24, 2020

A Saturday morning fire at a Ridge Street residence in South Boston left the home completely gutted and sent two women to the hospital emergency room to be checked out for smoke inhalation.

Mary Palmer and her sister Nancy Palmer had gotten out of the home by the time firefighters arrived at the scene. Mary Palmer is the occupant of the dwelling and Nancy Palmer, who lives across the street, is the home’s owner, said South Boston Fire Chief Steve Phillips.

Firefighters were dispatched at 8:38 a.m. and found the 1538 Ridge Street home engulfed in flames, but both women safe, said Phillips. The Halifax County Rescue Squad transported them to the Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital ER for treatment of possible smoke inhalation. Phillips said Sunday he did not have any updates on their condition.

There was no chance for firefighters to save the home after the call came in reporting the blaze.

“When we arrived on the scene, it was a high amount of fire coming out of the front end of the house,” said Phillips. “It was pretty much a total loss.”

The brick home was left charred on the outside and the interior was decimated by flames. The home, valued at $35,000, sustained damage of $30,000, according to Phillips.

Phillips said the fire appears to have started in the living room of the home. There was a kerosene heater inside but he said it is too soon to determine if it was the source of the blaze, which is under investigation.

“Until we get a closer look at it, it’s hard to pinpoint that that’s what happened,” said the fire chief.

The South Boston department dispatched three trucks and 14 firefighters to the scene, assisted by three trucks and 10 members of the Halifax fire department and one truck and five members from Cluster Springs. A member of the Liberty Volunteer Fire Department who was in town Saturday morning also helped put out the blaze.

It took firefighters nearly three hours to bring the fire under control. The local chapter of the American Red Cross is providing assistance to the occupants of the home.

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