Glasgow firefighters found historic house consumed with flames

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:17 PM EST
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GLASGOW, Va. (WDBJ) - “I’ve growed up in this area for almost 45 years,” said Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief John Ellington, “and I remember every day coming through there and that house has been standing there as long as I can remember.”

Now a charred wreck, the old Echols farmhouse burned, the victim of an apparent arson. Virginia State Police investigators are looking into it, but Sunday night it was a torch that lit the skies of Glasgow.

“When we crossed the train tracks going towards Glasgow Highway, we initially seen it before we got to the bridge,” Ellington said. “You could see it from a distance.”

A big house, completely in flames during a crippling snowstorm.

“It’s a nightmare for firefighters, yes sir,” Ellington explained.

The firefighters were there in minutes, but it was a giant challenge. They called for all the help they could get, not just equipment but people.

“Numerous companies couldn’t exactly get their main apparatus on the road due to the weather conditions,” Ellington said, “so they brought what they could.”

Doing their best with few water supplies and ice freezing to their helmets.

Up the road, the rescue squad responded to help a caller.

“Once they arrived and began to help the gentleman, they realized they needed a deputy to respond,” Chief Deputy Tony McFaddin said.

Jermale Fitz was acting oddly, and as the sheriff’s deputy spoke with him he began to wonder.

“He was able to take clues from Mr. Fitz and what he was talking about along with visual clues,” according to McFaddin.

Fitz is being held in the Rockbridge Regional Jail, charged with breaking and entering and arson.

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