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Blaze destroys home

A family of four was left homeless Tuesday night when a fire broke out in their brick ranch on Loftis Road in South Boston.

Gary and Janet Stevens and their daughter, Jessica, and granddaughter Allysa were not injured in the fire that consumed their home and all belongings.

Janet said she and her husband, Gary, were not at home at the time the blaze broke out, but her daughter and granddaughter were in the home.

The Stevens couple was at Lynchburg General Hospital where Stevens’ father was scheduled for heart surgery on Wednesday, his wife said.

Jessica and her young daughter were preparing for bed when the fire was discovered.

“Punky (Jessica) had attempted to go downstairs to check on the woodstove before she went to bed, but when she opened the door to the basement she told us she saw a ball of red, and black smoke smacked her in the face. She slammed the door and got out of the house,” her mother said.

The call for help came into emergency dispatch around 11:15 p.m., and Cluster Springs Volunteer Fire Department, South Boston Fire Department and Turbeville Volunteer Fire Department initially responded to the house fire.

Other fire departments were called in to assist with water and manpower as numerous firefighters battled the massive blaze, according to Cluster Springs Fire Chief Mike Harris.

Cluster Springs responded with a total of 13 firefighters and four trucks and were assisted by seven other county fire departments and the Halifax County Rescue Squad.

South Boston Fire Department arrived on the scene with nine firefighters and two trucks. Virgilina Volunteer Fire Department responded with eight firefighters and two trucks. Midway Volunteer Fire Department brought four firefighters and one truck, and North Halifax Volunteer Fire Department responded with two firefighters.

Liberty Volunteer Fire Department arrived with two firefighters, and Halifax and Turbeville Volunteer Fire Departments responded with one firefighter each. 

Halifax County Rescue Squad responded to the scene in case of possible injury, Harris said.

It took firefighters about three hours to bring the flames under control using over 4,000 gallons of water, the Cluster Springs fire chief said.

According to Harris, the fire started in the basement where the wood heater was located and quickly spread to the attic.

The property was valued at $150,000 and sustained $125,000 damage in the fire, Harris said.

The Stevens and daughter and granddaughter are staying with family members in the aftermath of the late Tuesday night fire.

Red Cross Emergency Services Coordinator Ginger Weaver said the Red Cross also is assisting the family.

Anyone wishing to make donations to the Stevens family can drop off their contribution at Riverdale Auto Sales Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.