Wise County

Woman loses home of 62 years to fire

ST. PAUL, Va. - Smoke continues to smolder at 83-year-old Thelma Blevins' home in Wise County, one day after a fire destroys everything. Blevins' daughter Linda Smith says this has left their family in shock. "Complete devastation, not knowing what to do and trying to cope with it with her because it was her home and this is 62 years of collecting, and her parents things, and her things, and my dad's been gone for 15 years and so many of his things too," Smith says.

We're told Blevins lived alone, and wasn't home at the time of the fire. But her family says it has been a tough situation to explain. "She's like, I want to go home and we've tried to explain to her that it's not there anymore and she doesn't understand why it's not there."

Russell County Emergency Management Coordinator Jess Powers tells us, fire crews tried to save the home, but, by the time they arrived, it was too late. "It was fully engulfed by the time the fire department got here, but it took a couple of hours to extinguish the flames," Powers says.

Blevins will be staying with family, since her home is beyond repair. They tell News 5 the most important thing is everyone safe. "We just thank God she's okay. That's the biggest blessing in the world to know she's okay and she's not hurt," Smith tells us.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. If you would like to help Thelma Blevins, the family is asking for some clothing donations.

Ms. Blevins wears a size 14/16 in women's clothing.

For more information on how you can help, contact the Russell County Emergency and Hazardous Materials Coordinator, Jess Powers at (276) 889-8247


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