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South Richmond house fire that claimed three lives, ruled accidental

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Posted at 4:30 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 16:32:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. – After an investigation, Richmond Fire officials have deemed the July 27 fire that claimed three lives accidental due to faulty electrical wiring.

Richmond Fire crews were called to the home along the 6000 block of Laveta Drive, near Midlothian Turnpike and German School Road, at about 6:22 a.m.

Two adult women and a male child were pulled from the home and taken to the hospital, where they later died.

Firefighters battled a fire in South RIchmond.

Firefighters battled a fire in South RIchmond.

The family members were identified as Rosa Fowlkes, 61, a nine-year-veteran Richmond Sheriff’s Office in the Community Services division, her daughter Ariel Hubbard Kirby, 30, and 5-year-old grandson Josiah Hubbard Kirby.

When fire crews arrived, they observed light smoke coming from the roof. It took firefighters 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.

Richmond Justice Center mourns loss of Rosa Fowlkes

Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody said Fowlkes was a nine-year veteran in the Community Services division.

“My heart is heavy,” Woody said. “We are mourning the loss of a great community leader.”

Rosa Fowlkes worked at the Richmond City Justice Center

Rosa Fowlkes worked at the Richmond City Justice Center

He described Corporal Fowlkes as a dedicated and committed person.

“She wanted to get things done,” Woody said. “She didn’t want you to get in her way. When it was time to go home there was no such thing as that.”

And Lieutenant Colonel Carol Dabney with the sheriff’s department said Fowlkes was known to put others first.

“Recently, we lost one of our seniors and Corporal Fowlkes was diligent with checking on them, and making sure they were okay,” said Lt. Col. Carol Dabney.

“We will certainly miss her,” Dabney added.