‘Smoke was billowing up out there’: Red Cross helps several displaced residents after senior living facility catches fire


RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) – A strong fire Saturday night at the Dominion Place senior living high rise apartment community sent one person to the hospital for smoke inhalation. A second person was also treated for smoke inhalation on the scene.

The fire started on the fourth floor, destroying one entire apartment unit, according to Richmond Fire Battalion Chief Richard Lewis.

The American Red Cross in Richmond told 8News, the organization is supporting 10 people who were displaced as a result of the blaze.

Although the fire was in one apartment on the fourth floor, a daughter of one of the residents at Dominion Place said the smoke made it all the way up to her mom’s room on the 11th floor.

Inez Thornton was watching television Saturday night when she heard the fire alarm go off. She said she rushed through the heavy smoke to get down the stairs — there was only one exit for all 60 residents to evacuate out of.

“Smoke was billowing up out there, and actually one lady was heading right into the smoke, you know, we were telling her, yelling at her, saying hey, you can’t go that way,” she said. “You have to come back this way. There’s only one exit,” Thornton told 8News Sunday.

Although they don’t know exactly how many people were displaced in total, Richmond Fire officials tell 8News building maintenance at Dominion Place has a plan in place to work with those residents who were displaced to make sure they have a place to stay.

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