The mayor of Chatham was hospitalized and his wife found dead following a fire that erupted in the basement of their home Thursday afternoon.
Mayor Roy P. Byrd Jr. is now being treated at the University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville for smoke inhalation, a public safety official said. His wife, Lois Byrd, was found dead in the basement shortly after firefighters arrived on the scene.
The cause of the blaze, evidenced only by smoke pouring from the house, remains under investigation. Her death was a shock to the small town of 1,200 people.