3 rescued, 35 forced from home in Christmas Eve blaze

Henrico County

HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — A fire at the Fox Rest Apartments in Henrico County damaged 11 units and put 35 people out of their home on Christmas Eve.

Fire crews responded to the scene at around 8:30 p.m. and found flames shooting from a second-floor apartment.

A resident of the apartment complex, Ashley Kizzie, told 8News she drove up to the scene last night. 

“It was devastating knowing that all those people lost everything on Christmas Eve,” Kizzie said. She also told 8News her friend was barely able to escape the flames.

“He was able to get his pets out and that was really it. He didn’t even have a cell phone,” she said. 

Three people were trapped on a third-floor balcony, according to Henrico Fire. Firefighters rescued them by using their ladders and getting them off the balcony.

A witness, Doris Barrett, spoke with 8News about what she saw from her daughter’s apartment next door. 

“It blew my mind,” she said. “I was devastated to even see that. Spreading so fast it was like you really couldn’t get in there so when we came out I’m just screaming did everybody get out.”

Jonathan McNamara, the Red Cross’ regional communications director, told 8News on Tuesday that the organization is currently assisting five people as the other 30 residents found places to stay.  

Henrico Fire told 8News the blaze seemed to begin in the kitchen of one of the apartments. The Fire Marshal will confirm the cause of the fire. 

Once the residents were out safely, Barrett and her daughter worked to help. 

“The mothers went upstairs got some pajamas coats. My daughter, she was the first one to have the comforters and the pajamas,” Barrett said. 

As residents deal with the damage, Kizzie says the fire has definitely hit close to home. 

“You know needing the newest thing and you know when it comes down to your life you know you don’t think about those things,” Kizzie told 8News. 

The Red Cross will check nine additional units at the Fox Rest Apartments on Dec. 26 at 2 p.m. 

No residents or firefighters were hurt.

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