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Diggs resident reeling from loss of husband, devastating house fire

Diggs resident Kathy Rowe lost everything she owned in a Jan. 23 fire, just three days after her husband died. Now living with her daughter in Hampton, Rowe is eager to return to Mathews County, but first she needs to be able to start her truck, which was damaged in the fire.

Rowe said her husband was outside getting wood for the woodstove on Jan. 20 when he had a heart attack. She found him outside, unresponsive. Three days later, still in mourning and reeling from the shock of having suddenly lost him, she was sitting in the living room of her home on Salem Church Road at around 8-8:30 p.m. when one of her lights popped and went out. Seconds later, a heater that was plugged into the same circuit popped, sparks flew up, and the electrical cord caught fire, igniting the adjacent sofa. The fire quickly spread, and Rowe was helpless to control it. She exited the house.

Once outside, Rowe couldn’t get her new cell phone to work right in order to call the fire department, but thankf...

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