UPDATE: Elderly woman credited with saving son from fire - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Elderly woman credited with saving son from fire

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LINDSIDE (WVVA) - WVVA News has learned more about the heroic efforts of an elderly woman who saved her disabled son from the family's burning home on Tuesday.

Gladys Wood, 84, went back into the burning home to save her son David, who has Down Syndrome and is legally blind.

Gladys says it took everything she had to get him out, but she didn't think twice about what she needed to do.

"I didn't know if I was going to be able to get him out or not," Gladys said. "I would have stayed in there and died, but I was just unable to leave him."

Gladys tells WVVA News she believes God gave her the strength to save her son. She says she knows she lost everything, but she is turning to God in this time of need.

Both Gladys and David were treated and released at Carilion Giles Community Hospital for smoke inhalation after the blaze.

"I felt my throat closing up, it was hard for me to breathe," said Gladys, "but I'm fine now."

She and David are staying with family in Narrows, Virginia while they try to determine their next move. But Gladys told us she wants to return to her old property eventually.

"I know I want to live there again, I loved it there," she said. "I still want to have my garden."

Fire departments were able to recover a few precious family photos from the home, Gladys' car keys, and one of her quilts that she made from her husband's old neckties. He died in 2003. Gladys said she lost many other quilts, but to still have this one was very special to her.

The facebook page for the family can be found here. A relief fund has been set up for Gladys and David.

"We just really want to thank the fire departments who responded," said Mary Trier, Gladys' daughter. "It just means so much to us, and they did such a good job [on the scene] and worked very hard to put this fire out."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Lindside Volunteer Fire Department Chief Richard Miller said Tuesday evening that both residents of the destroyed home in Monroe County were treated and released at Carilion Giles Community Hospital for smoke inhalation.

He said the department knows for a fact that the blaze began in the basement area of their home, but as of Tuesday evening the cause of the fire was still being investigated.

Route 219 was reopened around 3 PM after being closed for around seven hours while crews worked to clear the scene.

Miller told WVVA the Red Cross, along with neighbors, have helped provide for the family by getting them some clothes and food while they recover from losing their entire home.

He said the displaced family has found a place to stay temporarily while they work out a plan to move forward.

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UPDATE: Route 219 remains closed as of 11:50 AM and is expected to remain closed for at least two more hours. Northbound traffic is being detoured on Broyles Cemetery Road, and southbound traffic is being detoured on Pine Grove Road.

LINDSIDE, W. Va (WVVA)-- A fire destroyed a home in Monroe County Tuesday morning.

It happened around 8:15 AM on Route 219, about a mile south of Lindside.


The Lindside Volunteer Fire Department and Peterstown Fire Department responded to the blaze.

Lindside Fire Chief Richard Miller told WVVA the home was a total loss and one person was transported to Carilion Giles Community Hospital for smoke inhalation. He added this was mainly as a precaution, and no intense injuries were expected.


Both residents were out of the house when fire crews arrived.  The fire departments were working on rescuing family keepsakes as they battled the flames on the lower level of the home.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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