84-year-old Lee Co. woman killed in house fire was fiercely independent, well-loved


A beloved Lynchburg woman, who intended on dying in the home her father built, got her wish late Thursday night.

Bertha Edwards, 84, was identified by Lee County Coroner Larry Logan, as the victim of a fatal fire overnight. Her daughter stopped by the remains of her mother’s Lynchburg home Friday evening.

Edwards’ daughter did not want to speak on camera but said her mother was an independent woman who was intent on living in her own home even though she got around mostly through the use of her wheelchair.

WIS spent the afternoon at the Tolson Road home, talking with neighbors and individuals who passed by to stop and look. Dewayne Henry has lived down the road from Edwards his entire life.

“She was well-loved and liked in this circle, in this community,” Henry said. “I never knew her name but it feels like I knew her from the day I was born. The way we were raised down here. If someone on this road is older than you if they tell you to do it you do it.”

Henry told WIS he was at a loss for words as he drove past the home, still smoking 12 hours later.

“It’s gonna be one of those things you’re gonna come back and down looking for her. It’s a shock that the house is gone and she’s gone,” Henry said.

Lee County Coroner Larry Logan told WIS that a deputy making his rounds saw the fire and notified officials around midnight. Edwards was wheelchair-bound after having one leg amputated and was living by herself.

Lee County Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire.

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