Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

June 29, 2014

‘He saved their lives’ from blaze

Family’s home severely smoke, fire damaged after son helps them to safety

LASHMEET — Four members of a Mercer County family survived an house fire Saturday morning thanks to the efforts of a family member who was awakened by the fire, escaped through an upstairs window and re-entered the burning structure to save the lives of his parents and his sister.

Jonathan Denham, age unavailable, of Kinser Road, off of Beeson Road near Lashmeet, was awakened by the smoke before 7 a.m. He managed to climb out his bedroom window out onto the front porch roof, use the gutter to inch himself out to the down spout where he could slide down to the porch.

Since he was unsure of where the fire was, he walked around to the rear of the house, entered and woke his parents and his sister up to get them out to safety.

“He saved their lives,” Chief S.A. Sommers of the Matoaka Volunteer Fire Department said.

The Matoaka department received the call at about 7:15 or 7:30, Sommers said. Firefighters from three additional departments also responded to the fire and were on the scene for about six hours before extinguishing the blaze. Along with Matoaka, Bluestone Valley, East River and Montcalm volunteer fire departments responded.

“The family had done a lot of renovations around the house with heavy cut wood siding on the outside and a new metal roof over an existing shingle roof,” Sommers said.

“There is extensive smoke and fire damage in the house, but we were able to save most of their personal belongings with the exception of some larger beds and other furniture,” Sommers said. “He said the second floor is lost, and he expressed concerns about the structural integrity of the first floor.

The home is owned by Peggy and Bruce Denham. Mrs. Denham expressed her thanks to all of the firefighters who responded and saved almost all of their family heirlooms. “They went above and beyond the call,” Peggy Denham said.

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