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Ceremony Honors Wertland Street Fire Heroes - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Ceremony Honors Wertland Street Fire Heroes

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Some good Samaritans were recognized Wednesday for helping 13 college students get out of their home unharmed as it was engulfed in flames.

The fire broke out last Monday on Wertland Street in the early morning hours. All 13 students inside escaped the burning building through a back door after being alerted by garbage men who first noticed the fire. The blaze charred the front porch of the building and several rooms. Several parked cars were damaged as well.

At a ceremony at the University of Virginia Rotunda on Wednesday, Charlottesville's fire chief, the UVA's president and the university police chief all honored the two garbage men who helped get everyone out of the devastating fire.

Both President Sullivan and Chief Charles Werner say this ceremony was important because it focused on the partnerships in the community.

"It's important that we as a community recognize the efforts of everybody involved, that individual citizens have roles to make a difference. That police officers and firefighters working together all make a difference, and it's that collective effort that really saves the day," Werner said.

Charlottesville's fire marshal says the cause of the fire is undetermined, and there's still no estimate on the cost of all the damage.

The students expect to be back in their home within 60 days, and many of them were at the ceremony to thank the heroes in person.

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