GLOUCESTER, Va. (WTVR) — A woman who died trying to rescue her grandchildren from a deadly house fire in Gloucester last year has been awarded a Carnegie Medal for civilian heroism.
The Daily Press reports Virginia Grogan was among 22 residents of the U.S. and Canada to receive the awards, which are given to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.
“The boys’ grandmother, Grogan, 54, college student and retired military officer, alerted the mother to the fire and then with her husband climbed through a window in their bedroom to the roof of the front porch,” stated the Carnegie Medal Awardees website. “They went along the roof to a window in the boys’ bedroom, gained access to the room, and pulled the boys’ mother from the house. As Grogan’s husband aided the mother to ground level, Grogan entered the bedroom for the boys. Realizing that she had re-entered the house, her husband called to her and the boys but received no response.”
Loved ones gathered and released balloons in January in remembrance of the three young boys and their grandmother who were killed in the blaze.
The family’s home on Summerville Drive caught fire on Jan. 16, 2013, killing seven-year-old Thomas, two-year-old Michael and six-month-old Gabriel Grogan.
The boys’ grandmother, Virginia Grogan, went back in the burning home to try to save the boys, but she also died inside.
The children’s parents survived.