FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Three deputies were injured and an 83-year-old resident was saved from a structure fire in Fluvanna County.
At around 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, first responders were called to a residence on Old Fork Lane in Cunningham for a reported structure fire with an individual trapped inside.
Upon their arrival eight minutes later, firefighters and police reportedly witnessed smoke coming from the residence.
The first arriving deputy from Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office attempted to enter the residence but as soon as the door was opened heavy smoke erupted through the doorway, according to police. Because of the heavy smoke, deputies reportedly had to make multiple entries before the 83-year-old immobile resident was able to be rescued.
“They continued to render aid at great peril to their own safety,” said Lt. A.C. Hurd of Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office.
According to police, deputies were then informed that there may have been another individual in the residence. Deputies reportedly re-entered the residence multiple times to search for any other occupants but none were found.
“They completed the extrication and search shortly before the residence became engulfed in flames,” Hurd said.
While still on the scene awaiting medical attention, deputies were alerted to a man in the roadway on Shores Road. Deputies reportedly proceeded to approach the individual who appeared to be heavily intoxicated. According to police, two deputies were assaulted while taking the man into custody.
Police believe the individual may have been the person originally reported to have been in the residence. Anthony Skeen, 32, of Palmyra was arrested and charged with public swearing and intoxication. His interaction and arrest are otherwise unrelated to the fire, according to police.
Three deputies and the 83-year-old resident were all treated for smoke inhalation and were transported to the University of Virginia Medical Center.
Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office reports that the residence appears to be a total loss and the American Red Cross will be helping to support the displaced family.
Fire personnel from the Palmyra, Fork Union, Kent’s Store, Lake Monticello and Scottsville Fire Departments all worked to extinguish the blaze. Rescue squads from Fluvanna Rescue, Lake Monticello Rescue and Albemarle County Rescue all provided assistance.
The origin and cause of the fire are currently under investigation by the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office.
“The Sheriff and staff of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office are extremely proud of the self-less and heroic actions of the responding deputies,” Hurd said.