‘It was really scary’: Neighbors wake to duplex engulfed in flames after mother, daughter escape


RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – A mother is recovering from serious injuries after she and her daughter escaped their burning home on 5th Avenue in Richmond Tuesday morning.

Two dogs were killed in the blaze as well.

Amy Vu with Richmond Fire told 8News the fire was aggressive, causing extensive damage, leaving the duplex unfit to live in and the home next to it with some exterior damage.

“It was really scary,” neighbor Dale Woodson said.

Woodson was awoken to the fire that engulfed the duplex.

“When I came out, I was just hoping that no one else was inside,” he said. Woodson heard the cries of two ladies who lived there.

“I heard it, but then I started to notice a light and the sun wasn’t even out yet, so that’s when I peeked out the window and I saw the house engulfed in flames,” he described.

The mother and daughter made it out the front door. The daughter was not injured and was treated on scene as a precaution, but the mother was left with serious injuries and is still recovering.

“That’s when I saw the young ladies here sitting on the ground and one looked like she was badly injured,” Woodson said.

Neighbor Jimmy Coffey saw the blaze too.

“I don’t like seeing nothing like that because you get people’s lives at stake like that. Two families are out of a home,” Coffey said.

Vu said the duplex was without smoke alarms and reminds the public that they could save lives.

“At the end of the day, our messaging is do what you can to prevent it,” Vu told 8News.

There have been three fatal fires this year in Richmond so far, which is already above the average for the amount of fires in one year in the area.

Vu said moving forward, the fire department plans to engage with the community more to hopefully prevent something like this from happening again.

The American Red Cross is helping five people find a place to live.

Richmond Fire is continuing to investigate what caused the fire.

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