Beach homeowner after fatal fire: ‘I’ve been here every day since then, crying’

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jan 20, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-20 21:49:29-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - Friday night, smokes and flames poured out of a home on Thamesford Drive.

The home's owner Ronald Booth, says there was "just devastation [and] heartbreak," at the scene that night.

Two people were killed in the fire.  According to a spokesperson with the fire department, the two women who died were Marcia Varcus, 82, and Nancy Basnight, 67.

"I've been here everyday since then, crying, thinking," said Booth.

In the light of day, it's even more apparent how intense the fire was that trapped the women inside.  Looking in from the backyard, most of the house was gutted.  On the neighbor's home the siding melted in some spots from the heat.

According to the fire department, the fire was an accident.  They say it appears to have started in the fireplace on the first floor.

Looking at the damage, Booth said "it's just terrible, and then to know the story behind it makes it even worse to look at."

According to Booth, the couple renting the home from him had just moved in a few months ago.  They survived; the woman is still in the hospital.

It's unclear right now how the two victims are connected to the couple.

Looking at everything that was lost, there's only one thing Booth says he is thankful for - the first responders who risked their lives that night.

Two firefighters were injured.

"I stopped by the fire department yesterday and thanked `em , one of them is hurt worse than the other one."

According to the fire department, they suffered first and second-degree burns but are out of the hospital now.


Victims killed in Va. Beach house fire identified