Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jimmy Dean's Varina home heavily damaged by fire

I know this house ... my cousin used to live there before selling it to Jimmy Dean who had married local girl Donna Meade. My cousin then moved down-river to Upper Shirley where he continued to live on the James River for a number of years. We had family gatherings at both locations over the years ... one photo has all the aunts and uncles on the front porch of the now-Dean residence. It is a beautiful place with a view of the river where a favorite past time is to watch the boats going up and down the river.

The news this morning is reporting that Mr. Dean's main house was heavily damaged by a fire last night, causing firefighters to spend several hours fighting the flames on a picturesque bluff overlooking the James River.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:
A fire caused “significant damage” late last night to the secluded Varina home of country music legend Jimmy Dean and his wife, Donna Meade Dean, at historic Chaffin’s Bluff overlooking the James River, Henrico County fire officials said.

The Deans and their caretaker all escaped safely from the blaze, but three firefighters suffered minor injuries, said Henrico fire Lt. Chris Buehren. Two firefighters were treated at the scene and a third was hospitalized overnight for observation after being overcome by heat, Buehren said.

More than a dozen firefighting vehicles, including 10 engine companies, responded to the fire, which was reported at 8:05 p.m. and took several hours to bring under control. Crews remained on scene until almost 4 a.m., Buehren said.
Such a shame. We wish the Deans the best as they assess the damage and decide what to do.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

Wow, that's really rough. I'm glad everyone was ok! That can't be easy to deal with when you're getting up there in age. Hopefully some of the house can be salvaged.

As an aside, a good family friend and his daughter lived adjacent to the Deans on the same road years ago. I remember them talking about seeing them coming and going.