VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach woman and her family escaped a fast-moving fire that tore through her neighborhood when their dog woke them up to alert them to the flames.
It happened just before 3 a.m.
“My dog started barking, and right out my bedroom window – my husband pulled the curtain back – and he just started seeing flames,” said April Hipe.
Hipe, her husband and their 2-month-old baby made it out with seconds to spare.
“I didn’t think to grab anything, just my baby and a blanket. Then, 20 seconds later, [the fire] hit our bedroom window,” Hipe said.
Hipe and her family made it out safely, though their trailer sustained serious damage. Other residents weren’t as lucky.
Virginia Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Rob Darling tells 10 On Your Side’s Kiahnna Patterson that six homes were damaged in the fire and that one of them was vacant. Four of the homes were destroyed and two of the homes sustained fire damage.
Darling said eight people were displaced. Two people were checked at the scene by EMS but refused treatment.
Crews on the scene worked on the fire for about four hour to make sure the fire was out. Darling said propane tanks on the property began to slow them down.
“We had multiple propane tanks explode multiple times,” Darling said. “We just had the guys take up at that point.”
Video obtained of the scene from Chris Kraft shows homes engulfed in flames. Kraft told 10 On Your Side that he heard crackling and initially thought it was gunshots. When he went outside he saw flames and smoke coming from a few homes.
Another witness of the fire, Cathy Essert, said around that same time someone started banging on her door to wake her up.
“I’m just really scared right now because it’s right next to my house,” Essert said. “My poor neighbors. I just saw flames and the fire go to the roof then it started spreading to these other trailers right here. I’m so grateful for the man that knocked on my door really hard and woke me up.”
10 On Your Side crews on the scene said firefighters were able to get the fire under control and that neighbors started to gather to see if everyone was okay.
No further information has been released at this time. The cause of the fire is still undetermined.