RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Fire officials have identified the man killed in a fire on the city’s north side.
Emergency crews responded to 3206 Delaware Avenue on April 30 at 9:41 a.m. for the report of a house fire.
“When we arrived, we had heavy smoke and fire coming from the back of the house and attic,” said Chief Raymond Neville.
A mayday was eventually declared for a firefighter injury. Based on the department’s reports, the firefighter was operating on the second floor and started falling into a hole. Luckily, the firefighter caught himself and the other firefighters pulled him back up and helped him outside. He was transported to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
Shortly afterward, the home’s occupant was found on the second floor and quickly transported outside, as some neighbors watched, while others tried to help.
“I ran back and started hollering at people, telling them ‘Please call 911, call 911!’,” said Manya Robinson. She was just up the street helping her brother move.
She says, first came the smell of smoke, then actually seeing the smoke, and then rushing over with others, knocking on the doors of the home to alert anyone inside to evacuate.
“The fire started shooting out because at first, it was all smoke, but then it was fire and I hollered at him ‘Get back, get back!’ because we didn’t know if it was a gas tank or anything around there,” Robinson said.
The resident, 75-year-old Leroy Davis, was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
At 10:46 a.m., the fire was marked under control. Chief Neville adds that the fire moved so quickly, partially because of the number of items inside the home.
“When we have hoarding conditions like this, it makes it extremely dangerous for us to over-extend ourselves and push ourselves into areas where we can’t get out of. Things are falling over, they’re blocking our means of egress in and out of the house. And like in this situation, there was a hole in the floor that we can’t see because of the smoke conditions.”
Officials determined the cause of the fire was accidental and started on the first floor on the left side of the home.
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