Galax house lost to fire

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By Staff Reports

The Galax Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 440 Poplar Knob Road off of Country Club Lane at approximately 3 p.m. on June 4.


On arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke coming from the windows and roof area of the residential one story structure. They spent around an hour on scene dousing flames that were contained to one bedroom and investigating the incident, according to a fire report from Chief David Hankley.
“It appeared that the fire started from an electrical connection, possibly the use of an extension cord,” he said.
He added that the entirety of the home suffered major heat and smoke damage as a result of the blaze.
The Galax Police Department blocked off access to Poplar Knob Road, since the department was forced to park their emergency vehicles in the street while they put out the fire.
The home was owned by Howard and Marie Dalton, who were not at home at the time of the fire. Neighbors noticed the smoke, and called for help.
Justin Gilbert was driving by the residence with his girlfriend when they noticed the smoke coming out of the building. “I grabbed the doorknob, and it was hot,” he said. “I’d seen the movie ‘Backdraft’ before, so I backed up because I knew what could happen [if he opened the door.]”
Upon arriving at his home from work, Howard Dalton, who had recently had heart surgery, began experiencing chest pains. He was transported to Twin County Regional Hospital by Galax Grayson EMS, Hankley said.
As a result of the fire, the Daltons were unable to continue living in the residence. Family members and Red Cross provided assistance to the couple.