Fire Crews Investigate Fatal Mobile Home Fire near Churchville - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fire Crews Investigate Fatal Mobile Home Fire near Churchville

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Just days before Christmas, a late night fire has claimed the lives of a husband and wife, their 9-year-old son, and his grandmother.

The fire started Friday night at a mobile home on Bolling Heights Lane off Galena Road near Churchville.

Investigators are working to figure out what sparked the blaze that tore through the Stokes family's home Friday night. Virginia State Police say their fire investigators will not know a cause of the blaze until at least Thursday. All evidence has been collected at the scene but it will not be sent to the state lab until Thursday because of the Christmas holiday.

Gordon Stokes is the only one who made it out of the house safely. Family photos covered in ash and Christmas presents that will never reach their recipients is all that is left of Gordon Stokes' home.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. It just - every time I even think about it it's just really bad," he stated.

Stokes got a shocking wake up call around 10:00 Friday night. "My grandson come running and said ‘Papa your front porch is on fire'," he said.

Stokes says he headed for the door, thinking his grandson was by his side. "After I got out here, I tried to get some water, I couldn't get any water," he stated.

Soon after, firefighters and rescue squads arrived. However, it was too late to save the family. Stokes' wife Wilda, daughter-in-law Sharon and 9-year old grandson all died in the home. His son Charles died on the way to the hospital.

Fire crews say they saw no evidence of fire detectors in the home, and time was not on their side.

"In a mobile home application such as that fire has a potential of spreading pretty rapidly through that, just with the type of building material that's involved." Churchville Deputy Fire Chief Craig Williams stated. " So with having that - the delay from the fire actually starting to getting the phone call that the house is on fire - that's enough time frame a whole lot of times to put the fire department behind the 8 ball, so to speak, by the time we get there."

Stokes says he does not know why his grandson left his side, but thinks he went back in to help his parents and his grandmother.

"They were real close. Wherever she went, and what she done for him she wouldn't do for nobody. She would take the last dime and do without herself to buy him something," he stated.

Now, Stokes is alone with little left of his destroyed home.

A memorial fund has been set up to help pay for funeral services for the Stokes family. Donations are being accepted at Dupont Credit Union in Stuarts Draft, under the name Teresa Sprouse.

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