Residents Survive Fire, Pets Perish


By Linda Cicoira
A fire that swept through a two-story wood-frame Bobtown home near Pungoteague last weekend injured the couple who lived there and killed dozens of their animals.
Laura Chuquin-Naylor said she and her husband “escaped without major injuries … it would be premature to offer any comments as we are still working with the insurance company.”
Chuquin-Naylor, who owns Honeysuckle Rabbitry, posted on her rabbit rescue site on Facebook, “I’m sorry for not answering inquiries promptly during the past days. Our house and part of the rabbitry were destroyed by a fire and we lost all our means of communication. We were lucky to get out alive. The house and our possessions are all replaceable but what breaks my heart is that we lost one very special dog, our five beautiful cats, and 20 rabbits. All our pedigrees Lion heads and Sables are gone, as well as our breeding pair of Agouti Continental Giants and all our pet rabbits. Abuelito died hugging the ball he loved so much. I am devastated. All the rabbits in the ‘available’ posts survived with no issues and need to find new homes as soon as possible.”
Chief Adam James, of Onancock Volunteer Fire Department Inc., said, “Two people jumped out a first-floor window into the yard prior to the fire department arrival.” They were taken to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital and later transferred “across the bay for smoke inhalation.” State police were called to investigate.
There was “heavy fire on the first floor with some extension to the second floor,” James said. It took about 45 minutes to control the fire and a couple of hours to overhaul and extinguish hot spots.
Most of the windows in the house have been covered with boards.
Chief Sam Baines, of Melfa Fire & Rescue Co., was in command. He did not answer an inquiry.
According to a spokesperson for the Eastern Shore 9-1-1 Commission, the house is on the 2800 block of Bobtown Road. Firefighters and EMS from Wachapreague, Melfa, Onancock, Painter, and Tasley responded.

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