HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A family of five is left without a home after a fire ripped through their residence on Thursday morning.
The fire happened at a house on Parham Road. When 8News arrived on the scene Thursday afternoon, the fire marshal’s office was still there sifting through the shell of a house and the debris that remained.
“I’m sad. Very, very sad” Brenda Carter, a neighbor who lives in the area close to where the fire took place, said.
Henrico Fire received a call about the fire around 1 a.m. Thursday morning. The fire marshal said that when crews arrived about 5 minutes later, they were met with heavy fire and went into immediate attack.
Luckily, no one was hurt during the blaze.
Carter says she is usually awake around that time and was shocked that she didn’t know what was happening just down the street from her.
“Normally I’m a night hawk! But I didn’t hear anything about it, I didn’t smell nothing, and it’s very sad. I’m really sad to hear about this,” Carter said.
Carter has lived in the area for 14 years. She said she could not believe what she saw after the flames were gone.
“This is very out of the ordinary. This is my first-time hearing or seeing anything like this,” she said.
The Fire Department says that the family of five who were home when the fire started were out of the house and are safe. The displaced family are now staying with relatives in the area.
Henrico Fire Marshal Henry Rosenbaum said the home had a smoke detector, but that is not how the family was alerted to the fire. Instead, they heard a loud popping noise outside of the window. When they looked outside, they saw the flames and got out.
Rosenbaum says the message here is clear.
“The message is just that everyone is safe from this incident if you haven’t checked your smoke alarm, please check them. A working smoke alarm makes a difference and saves lives every day,” Rosenbaum said. “The other piece that goes with a working smoke alarm is having a plan with your family, whether it be adults or adults and kids. Everyone knowing what to do when that smoke alarm goes off.”
Henrico Fire crews have been at the scene on and off throughout the day, working to piece together the cause of the fire. The fire marshal says there is no timetable when it comes to determining the cause.