Five escaped doublewide, detector type unknown

A smoke detector alerted a family of five living in a Fluvanna County doublewide that caught fire, but not until flames were already present, says Fluvanna Volunteer Fire Chief Mike Brent. The fire broke out sometime before dawn on Tuesday, September 30 in a family room of the home on Shores Road. Although investigators could not pinpoint a source, Brent says, officials believe it was an electrical fire caused either by a cell phone plugged in and charging or by the couch itself, which was heated. All five family members– two adults and three children– escaped unharmed.

Fire officials did not identify the type of detector present; however that fact that it didn't sound until there were flames suggests that the detector, like 90 percent of detectors in American homes, was an ionization model and therefore didn't sound while the fire was in the smoldering stage. Brent says he did not check the detector type and suspects it was destroyed in the blaze.

The doublewide has been rendered uninhabitable and is likely a total loss, says Brent, and the residents could not be located for comment at posting time.


Obviously Noreen had just violated a truce, however, this has nothing at all to do with her abilities. As a matter of fact, I recently hired Ms. Renier to assist investigators in finding my missing brother, Randy Bratschi, who is a victim of homicide. I, too, was skeptical, but after listening in on her consultation with investigators, and personally witnessing her fidings, I am convinced that she is able to do what she claims. It is, of course, Mr. Merrell's right to his opinion. I just hope that he never gets to the place in his life that he may be desparate enough to pass by his prejudices and seek help wherever he can find it.

On the contrary, you pass judgment before reviewing the case extensively outlined to the public at And in a court filing prepared for the federal court on Thursday (November 23) my attorney states the damages against Renier including legal fees will be less than $75,000 --- though this figure would still be three times more than earlier awarded to Noreen Renier. The bigger question you leave unanswered is why Renier claimed before millions of television viewers to have found an crashed plane with people alive, when in actuality the plane was found independently by others --- and no one was alive. While you may be convinced she is able to do what she claims, the actual witnesses who found the plane and four dead passengers indicate Renier lied. That's not my statement, it's a statement made by the people who actually found the plane. You imply I am prejudiced. And you indicate given such prejudices I should seek help wherever I can find it. Ms. Sanders, you are quite wrong on the prejudice statement, but quite correct on the second. I did seek help --- before the U.S. legal system --- and on November 16, 2006 a U.S. federal judge eliminated all of Ms. Renier's legal counterclaims and awarded me a summary judgment against her for breaching a legal Florida state contractual agreement. Damages will be awarded in the coming weeks. Is this federal court outcome prejudiced? No, not unless you can offer some proof that the court improperly favored my facts, and ignored those of Ms. Renier --- which clearly was not the case as the court outlines in a 23-page ruling posted on my website. No I think there are simply folks quite out of touch with real facts and unable to swallow evidence to the contrary. Frankly for some folks it seems my win is simply a case of sour grapes. And claiming prejudice only shows just how sour that taste must be.

Believing in something mystic out of desperation is like finding religion in a foxhole. It's not the higher part of the brain that's at work; it's a retreat to immature ways.

Today, tomorrow, the day after, Madam Renier could end all the speculation and all the doubts about her abilities. She need only travel to Durham, North Carolina, where parapsycologists at Duke University would test her powers. These folks at Duke would dearly love to prove she has the gifts she claims to. She knows that; she won't go. Th immature will believe her excuses for not going.

True, people can come to the mystical or the spiritual out of desperation. Also true, psychic claims of predicting the future or having some kind of special knowledge cant withstand close scientific examination.

All this said, one must judge a method based on its claims. I have met intuitive consultants who make no supernatural claims about their abilities. They claim merely to help people examine problems and questions from a more intuitive perspective. On that basis, there is quite a bit of evidence that suggest that sometimes intuition can work where logic fails. Using intuition we can pull together many subtle details that can be lost using more reductionist logical methods. I can't say whether this applies to Noreen or not, but it does appear some overly broad statements have been applied here to all spirituality and mysticism.

While I respect secular humanists, their claims against a meaningful mystical universe are as unscientific as those who claim science supports one. Its like using mathematics to evaluate artwork, you may come up with some interesting conclusions, but ultimately the success of art is all about how it makes us feel. From that perspective, Secular humanism has failed to deliver a compelling alternative to religion and mystical belief systems. It has nothing to do with maturity, and everything to do with arrogance... for it to become a succesful movement it must take a page from its advasaries and learn some humility.

Well said, Lonnie. At understanding!

Mr. Merrill: I do apologize if I offended you. I had no way of knowing that you were sensitive and/or defensive. I merely stated you are entitled to your opinion. However, so are other people. I also stated that I hope you never have an instance in your life that you muct resort to desperate measures. Take it however you want to. Truly, it was not meant to offend.

Everyone has prejudices. To say you do not is not true. Lonnie made some very good points. One in particular---arrogance.

First you play the bigot card, and now crawl back to a description of arrogance claims I use "desperate measures." That taste of sour grapes I mentioned must be far more bitter than I imagined. What kind of person are you? Anyone seeking the truth about how four people died in a plane crash need not be attacked for prejudices. The case is quite clear and outlined at Noreen Renier's claims about locating a crashed aircraft and describing people alive at the scene is a fantasy. And how secular humanism in anyway is related to this case or me is beyond my imagination.

You do indeed have a talent for misinterpretation... as well as rudeness. I wish you all the best, Mr. Merrill. I have no further comments.


I would be more inclined to believe Renier if you have substantiated personal proof of her success?

You said "I, too, was skeptical, but after listening in on her consultation with investigators, and personally witnessing her findings, I am convinced that she is able to do what she claims."

What were her findings? Was she able to support her claims based on facts? If so, did the Florence County Sheriff locate your brother with her assistance. If not, I wouldn't put much creedance in her claims.

Dear Unbeliever,

I am sorry to say that I cannot comment on your questions at this point secondary to the investigation. I would like to say, however, that she was, indeed, very helpful. Thank you for your interest.

Amazingly Jessica Herbert actually testified to almost the identical comment --- that Noreen Renier was very helpful. Yet my investigation shows entire events that Jessica Herbert swore under oath were descriptions of events at the crash site described to her by Renier actually were nothing more than simple fantasy visions that never occurred. Yet Herbert testified that Renier was very helpful. How naive can people be?

QUICK! Somebody call Dionne Warwick! She has the answer. Call now.

In 2010 the website was sold as part of a court settlement agreement to Noreen Renier, the author of the book by that title. She now operates and manages its content. However, the critical analysis behind material and claims made in the 2005 edition which were the basis of a Washington federal court judgment against Renier are posted in an abridged format at