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UPDATE: Fire that killed beloved Martinsville educator caused by medical oxygen

Updated: Mar 12, 2019

MARTINSVILLE – Martinsville Fire & EMS’ Fire Investigator/Deputy Fire Marshal Andy Powers in conjunction with a fire investigator from the homeowners’ insurance company, were able to determine the cause and origin of the tragic fire that claimed the life of a local legend in the education field on February 22, 2019. The origin of the fire was determined to be in an upstairs bedroom located in the left corner of the home. The cause of the fire is believed to have been accidental from smoking exacerbated through the usage of medical oxygen. Based on the preliminary report from the medical examiner, Mrs. Lynn Fitzgibbons’ cause of death has been listed as smoke inhalation. After meeting with Mr. Tom Fitzgibbons, the husband of the late Mrs. Lynn Fitzgibbons, he wished to share the following: “Our family hopes that through Lynn’s tragedy, she can continue her legacy of helping others by continuing to educate during our time of sorrow. Please share this tragic event with anyone in a similar environment in hopes that no one has to endure what our family has gone through recently. By helping us share this message, Lynn can continue to live on by doing what she loved to do, help others.” Martinsville Fire & EMS commends the willingness of the Fitzgibbons family to share their thoughts in order to help prevent this heart breaking event from happening again.


MARTINSVILLE – Martinsville Fire and EMS continues to investigate a fatal structure fire. Here’s the press release from the fire department:

“On February 22, 2019 at 10:16 AM, Martinsville Fire & EMS (MF & EMS) responded to a 911call at 1006 Country Club Drive, located within the City of Martinsville, for a structure fire. The call originated from a passerby stating he was driving by and the home was fully involved with someone possibly inside. Due to medical calls, MF & EMS responded with two fire engines and anambulance with a second ambulance responding later. First arriving units found heavy fire involvement in the upper left area and attic of the home. A defensive/exterior attack was established initially. Once more personnel arrived, an interior search and fire attack was performed. While searching the home, a victim was located in the room where the initial flames were seen. Unfortunately the victim had already succumbed to the effects of the fire. The body has been sent to the medical examiner’s office for an official identification and cause of death. The house is owned by Tom and Lynn Fitzgibbons. The victim is believed to be that of Mrs. Lynn Fitzgibbons pending confirmation from the medical examiner. “We would like to ask the community to share in our thoughts and prayers for the well-respected family of the Fitzgibbons during thistragic event” stated Martinsville Fire Chief/Fire Marshal Ted Anderson.

The fire is believed to be accidental in nature and to have started in the bedroom which is located on the second level in the left corner. The Martinsville Fire & EMS Fire Marshal’s office is still investigating to affirm a more definitive point of origin. MF & EMS would like to thank the mutual aid received from Ridgeway and Dyers Store Volunteer Fire Department, Henry County Department of Public Safety, the City of Martinsville Police, Sheriff’s, Public Works, and Electric Departments.”


MARTINSVILLE – Martinsville Fire and EMS officials are investigating a fatality following a structure fire. The fire occurred Friday around 10 AM in the 1000 block of Country Club Drive.

Sources tell BTW21 an individual was in the home during the fire.

Fire officials said more information will be released later Friday evening.

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