Local home-care nurse killed in house fire

Posted: March 6, 2013

The Winchester Star

WINCHESTER — A registered nurse who worked for a local private home-care provider has been killed in a house fire.

Jeanne Thomas, 65, died in the blaze at her home in Jefferson County, W.Va., early Monday morning, according to the Hagerstown-Herald Mail. Her 25-year-old daughter, Adrienne Thomas, managed to escape.

Thomas worked for Ministering Angels at 2308 Middle Road, which helps the elderly and infirm stay in their homes by providing companions and nursing care.

“It’s just devastating,” owner Pamela Banks said Tuesday afternoon. “I couldn’t sleep all night just thinking about her.”

Monday would have been Thomas’ one-year anniversary at Ministering Angels, Banks said. It also was her birthday.

“She did everything for me,” Banks said of Thomas, who was a nursing supervisor and patient assessor. “There will never be another Jeanne.”

Thomas had a metal rod in her leg, but Banks said that “didn’t stop her from going anywhere,” though she did have difficulty navigating steps.

Thomas’ body was found in the basement of her single-story home on Packett Drive in the Tuscawilla Hills subdivision near Charles Town, according to the Herald-Mail. Her remains have been sent to the state medical examiner’s office in Morgantown, W.Va., for an autopsy.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, the newspaper reported. A family dog also died in the fire and another dog is missing.

Banks said Ministering Angels is collecting donations for Thomas’ daughter.

“She has nowhere to go,” Banks said.

Funeral arrangements for Thomas have not been announced.

For more information about making a donation, contact Banks at 540-535-1144.

— Contact Cynthia Cather Burton at cburton@winchesterstar.com