CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Chesterfield Fire and EMS officials are still investigating what caused a home along North Pinetta Drive to shoot up in flames on the night of Christmas Eve.
Just after 8:30 on Friday, Dec. 24, firefighters rushed to the home, on the 500 block of North Pinetta Drive, to find flames and smoke shooting through the front windows. 8News spoke to one of the men who lived inside who described the scene as chaotic.
“I came home and the house was a full blaze,” he said. “Life brings its surprises, but this was a total surprise.”
According to Chesterfield Fire, at least six people lived in the home and were forced to find another place to live. Of those six, several are staying at a nearby hotel. Others have been sleeping in their cars.
8News confirmed this was a rental property and the landlord rented out spaces within the house.
“Everything is gone. I’ve been sleeping in my truck.. yeah I’ve been sleeping in my truck,” one tenant said. “I hope I can figure something out with the landlord.”
At scene of the fire, neighbors described hearing what sounded like fireworks near the home. Chesterfield Fire confirms fireworks were not a factor in the blaze; however, one tenant said a space heater could be to blame.
The fire marshal will continue his investigation on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the department is sending out life-saving reminders about space heaters:
- Make sure it is at least 36 inches away from anything combustible
- Do not use an extension cord
- Plug it directly into the wall
- Only run it when you have to
- Do not leave it running when not at home.