McLean Fire

Ex-Virginia Gov. Robb, Wife Risked Themselves to Save Each Other From Fire, Daughters Say

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The daughters of former Virginia Gov. and U.S. Sen. Charles Robb and his wife, Lynda, are grateful the two are alive after a fire destroyed the couple’s McLean, Virginia, home late Tuesday.

The daughters say the husband and wife each tried to help the other as the fire consumed their home.

Jennifer, Catherine and Lucinda Robb say they very much appreciate the support from people in the D.C. area and around the world following news of the fire.

“The love and support we’ve had from everyone has meant so much, and we’re so incredibly grateful,” Jennifer Robb said.

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Charles Robb was taken to a local hospital for treatment of burns and has been released.

Lynda Robb, eldest daughter of the late President Lyndon Johnson, remains hospitalized with smoke and burn injuries.

“My dad and I went to the hospital to go see her,” Catherine Robb said. “She’s doing well, she’s getting better, she’s looking forward to coming home. We’re really looking forward to getting her back.”

The massive blaze could be seen across the Potomac River in the District.

Lucinda Robb says when the fire broke out, her father was in a downstairs den area. Her mother was upstairs on the ground floor.

As thick, blinding smoke filled the air, her father attempted to climb the stairs toward what’s described as a wall of fire, trying to reach his wife.

Lynda Robb is believed to have been injured taking the few extra seconds do something that signaled to her husband that she was out of the house and drew him in the direction of safety.

“She went to the garage and she got the car and she pulled it out and she focused the lights on the place that she thought my dad might be coming in from,” Lucinda Robb said. “We’re very lucky the house is on a hill so there’s an exit in the basement, so he went to that, and that’s where my mom had shone the lights.”

The home where the Robbs lived for decades was destroyed. Books, photos, historic memorabilia and artwork all are gone.

But the couple’s daughters say the most important thing is they have their parents.

“That’s the best Christmas gift we’re all going to get is being able to have us all together,” Jennifer Robb said.

Officials say it could take days, or even weeks to determine the cause of the fire. They say Lynda Robb was alerted to the fire by a smoke detector.

Charles Robb was the governor of Virginia from 1982 to 1986 and a U.S. senator between 1989 and 2001.

Property records show Robb purchased the home in 1973. It was valued at more than $3 million last year.

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