Shenandoah County Reports Drowning

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Woodstock, VA- The Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue announces a fatality as a result of drowning.

On Thursday, February 25 at approximately 9:00 a.m. Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue crews were dispatched following reports of a car being swept into the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, while attempting to cross the Artz Road bridge, located north of Woodstock. A female in her late 70s was attempting to cross the low-water bridge, while traveling west when the car went off the bridge.

The vehicle was located approximately half a mile downstream, submerged. There are no known passengers who were with the driver.

A deceased victim was located late this afternoon several miles downstream from the location of the submerged vehicle.

“Our fire and rescue companies regularly train for water related emergencies,” said Chief Gary Yew, Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue. “Tragically, in this case we lost a member of our community.”

The victim’s identity is being withheld pending positive identification by Office of the Medical Examiner and notification of family.

Swift water rescue companies from Orkney Springs, Strasburg, and Frederick County in addition to fire and rescue companies from Woodstock, Toms Brook, and Shenandoah County responded to the scene. Resources from the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Transportation, and AirCare cooperated in the search and rescue operations.

Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue reminds every one of the importance of avoiding driving across roads that are submerged in standing or flowing water.

Man dies in Woodstock fire

patchJust before midnight on Friday, Sept. 18, fire and rescue units from central and northern Shenandoah County responded to a structure fire at 98 Wood Park Lane, just north of Woodstock. Callers to 911 reported one person trapped inside the structure.

The first companies to arrive found a trailer home in flames, with fire spreading to trailers on each side at 94 Wood Park Lane and 102 Wood Park Lane.

Firefighters verified that there was a trapped occupant but extreme fire conditions kept them from making a rescue. Officials later confirmed one adult male fatality.

Firefighters were able to quickly confirm that two other occupants of the home, an adult female and one child, escaped with no injuries.

Investigation by the Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s office and the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Department suggests that the origin of the fire was near the clothes dryer, as reported by the female occupant. She said that they have been experiencing electrical problems with the dryer for some time.

Interviews with witnesses indicate that the deceased was not in the home at the time, and arrived thinking the female and child were still in the trailer. Witnesses say he entered the burning structure to rescue them and was unable to escape. A neighbor, an adult male, also entered the burning structure to assist with the rescue attempt and sustained burn injuries. The neighbor was transported to Shenandoah Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released.

The investigation indicates that both the deceased and the neighbor were unaware that the adult female and child had escaped the burning home. The American Red Cross is providing shelter to both of the adult and the child.

The trailer at 98 Wood Park Lane was totally destroyed.

The neighboring trailer at 102 Wood Park Lane sustained damage, and three adults and two children have been displaced from that trailer. The Red Cross is also taking care of sheltering them and addressing their immediate family needs.

The trailer at 94 Wood Park Lane was unoccupied.

Investigators canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses got additional reports from residents of the trailer park of electrical problems, and the County Building official condemned one other home at 75 Wood Park Lane until maintenance violations are corrected. Occupants of this home are being sheltered by Social Services.

All Fire and EMS units left the scene around 2:45 Saturday morning. The Fire Marshal’s office stayed at the scene throughout the night to continue the investigation.

The response from central and northern battalion companies of Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue included engine companies from Woodstock Fire Department, Edinburg Volunteer Fire Company, Toms Brook Volunteer Fire Department and Strasburg Fire Department and a ladder truck from Woodstock Fire Department. EMS units came from Woodstock Rescue Squad, Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue and Strasburg Rescue Squad.

Two die in Toms Brook house fire

55 Jessica Place, Toms Brook (1)

TOMS BROOK — During the investigation into Thursday’s fire at 55 Jessica Place in Toms Brook, investigators found two deceased people in the burned house. The medical examiner is working to identify them.

Two people resided at that address, William Dartnell, 81, and Kikuko Dischleit, 86.

Everything to this point in the investigation suggests that the house fire was an accidental fire, according to David Ferguson, fire marshal for Shenandoah County. The investigation is ongoing.

Fire units left the scene shortly before 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 20. Investigators remain on the scene.

“This is a tragic event for the entire community,” said John Collins, public information officer for Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue. “Our biggest goal is to prevent such tragedies.”

“I hope that everyone will immediately make sure they have working smoke alarms in their house,” Collins said.

55 Jessica Place, Toms Brook (2)