14 people displaced after Portsmouth apartment fire

News

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth firefighters responded to an apartment fire that left 14 people without a home Saturday morning.

Portsmouth Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief David Harrington said the first call came in on Friday night around 7:30. It happened on Virginia Avenue. 

The fire was contained in one bedroom. Officials say there was significant damage to a closet in the room. 

First responders were called back to the complex after the fire rekindled. The second fire caused four units to be condemned. 

The resident told fire officials she had been experiencing an electrical issue with a light fixture in her apartment. Officials determined the cause of the first fire was associated with the resident’s statements, but have not confirmed the caused of the second fire. 

There were no injuries reported.

The Red Cross of Virginia tweeted they are helping the 9 adults and 5 children that were displaced. 

According to Harrington, the property has been red-tagged. Now, the property owner must get a certified electrician to look at the property before the power can be turned back on in the building.

Resident Monica Warren tells 10 On Your Side she did not plan on spending her Saturday morning packing, but her plans changed quickly after coming home to the fire the night before.

“I have a special needs daughter that’s in a wheel chair and she has equipment in there and it’s just a hassle to have to deal with this,” said Warren.

After the fire department initially left, resident Darquise Watson said he had to make an emergency call 10 hours later. 

“I got home about 5:30 this morning to get work clothes and noticed that we smelled smoke again. I knocked on all my neighbors doors called the fire department and got everybody out,” explained Watson.

“From the looks of it, it looks like we are going to be displaced for more than a week or so,” Watson continued.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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