Fire victim identified as former Franklin resident

Published 10:04 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FORKS OF THE RIVER—A former Franklin resident has been identified as the victim of a fire that destroyed his family’s 90-year-old log cabin on the Nottoway River last week.
John Atkinson, 56, brother of area residents Billy Atkinson, Richard Atkinson and Pat Cobb, perished in the Friday morning blaze.
A memorial service is planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Wright Funeral Home.
Atkinson was a resident of and former restaurateur in the Florida Keys. He was visiting the area and had been staying in the cabin all week.
Atkinson was sleeping when the fire started, said sister-in-law Faith Atkinson of Franklin.
The cabin was located at the end of Forks of the River Road. The cause of the fire has not been determined, but authorities said foul play is not suspected.
A pilot flying over the area reported the fire at 3 a.m. Friday, but firefighters were unable to locate it based on the pilot’s description. A newspaper carrier later discovered the burned cabin and called authorities at 6 a.m.
The victim’s remains were sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for positive identification.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Wright Funeral Home.