Fire destroys family's home

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By April Wright, Reporter

A couple is receiving shelter assistance from the American Red Cross after their home was completely destroyed in a fire on Jan. 2, according to Galax Fire Chief David Hankley.

Upon arrival, firefighters saw the two-story, 100-year-old farmhouse was engulfed in flames. Fire was through the roof when the first floor collapsed, and the crew battled the fire for more than two hours.

The home's occupants, Emorey Kelley and his wife, escaped unharmed. The house is owned by John Porter.

The Galax Volunteer Fire Department determined this was a flue fire.

Hankley said efforts were hampered by strong, gusty winds and only a one-way road to access the property. Some firefighters received bumps and bruises from falling on the snow- and ice-covered ground.

Another member, James Zachary, was bitten on the hand while rescuing a dog from under the house, but heavy leather fire gloves protected him from injury.

About 20 Galax crew members responded to the fire. The GVFD received tanker assistance from the Glade Creek Fire Department and the Fries Fire Department. The Hillsville Fire Department covered the Galax area while the GVFD was on the call. Baywood Rescue provided EMS backup.