NEWS RELEASE: This is an update on the incident that occurred at 2560 Joppa Mill Road on May 02, 2020. All firefighters injured during this incident have been released from the hospital and are at home continuing their recovery. All four are expected to make full recoveries and return to active duty. There is no set date for their return, as the severity of their injuries varied but they will all be allowed to return, once they have been cleared by their physicians and by their chain of command.
The investigation in to the cause of the fire and the circumstances surrounding the “Mayday” incident is ongoing. In order to maintain an objective view and ensure all details are investigated impartially, the Bedford County Fire Marshal’s Office has requested assistance from the Lynchburg Fire Marshal’s Office. The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office will also continue to provide assistance, as needed. The names of the injured firefighters will not be released at this time, due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.
The initial assessment by Lynchburg’s Fire Marshall, Thomas Goode, is the fire was accidental in nature and caused by an overloaded circuit. This is based on observations during the walk through of the property and from statements taken from personnel at the scene.
The Bedford County Department of Fire & Rescue would like to thank our partner agencies and the public for their generous display of support and camaraderie during our time of need. We were fortunate that this incident did not result in the worst case. There will be many lessons learned, that we will share with the fire/rescue community, in order to help prevent future tragedies. It is understood that our profession is inherently dangerous, but we can work together to learn from these incidents and help ensure we all go home.