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A month of fire and ice

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Galax firefighters battle blazes in frigid temperatures

On sub-zero days and nights this month when many of us were huddled inside next to the fireplace, the Galax Volunteer Fire Department was out in the cold dealing with flames that were anything but cozy.
With temperatures in the teens and wind chill well below zero, firefighters have answered several major calls to house fires.

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• Dec. 9, 11 p.m., at 227 Waugh Drive — at the home owned by M.C. Bell and occupied by Don Johnson, fire was found in the floors and walls around the chimney area.
Fire Chief David Hankley reported that it was caused by an overheated flue from wood stove. Damage was estimated at approximately $5,000.
• Dec. 13, 3 p.m., at 3603 Glendale Road — an electrical fire at a home owned by Joyce Bullins and occupied by Allison Wortham. Hankley reported no damage to the house.
• Dec. 13, 6 p.m., at 359 Snow Hill Road — a chimney fire at a home owned and occupied by Dorothy Cox. No damage was reported.
• Dec. 15, 9 a.m., at 120 Country Club Lane — a flue fire at a home owned by John Carico and occupied by Rickey Sexton. Hankley said the fire was caused by an overheated chimney. It caused no damage to the home.
• Dec. 15, 11:30 pm., at 43 Shade Tree Lane — a passing motorist reported heavy smoke coming from the home, owned and occupied by John Willis, which was unoccupied at the time.  Firefighters found heavy fire in the living room and basement areas.
The fire appeared to have started around the chimney area that was being used for a wood stove and traveled from the basement up into the attic area.
Hankley estimated $50,000 damage to the home.
Two dogs died from smoke inhalation and the occupants were displaced from the residence.
• Dec. 16, 6 a.m., at 222 Farmington Road in Carroll County — at a home owned and occupied by Martha Wade, firefighters found heavy fire and smoke conditions in the 1.5-story residence.
Fire started around the flue from a wood stove and traveled through the first floor, second floor and attic area.
Hankley estimated damage at approximately $25,000 and said the occupants were displaced.
On Dec. 17, firefighters also assisted with a fire off 89 in Surry County, N.C. No report was available at press time.