Family escapes fire that caused ‘catastrophic’ damage to Norfolk home

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Investigators are looking to determine the cause of a fire that forced a family of four from a home in Norfolk overnight.  

Norfolk Fire-Rescue officials said in a news release that firefighters were dispatched to the 1400 block of Gabriel Drive around 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6. Responding units found a large fire at a single-story home.

Officials said two adults and two children got out of the burning home safely, and are being assisted by the Red Cross.

10 On Your Side spoke with Shonda Jackson, mom of the family of four, when she came back to the house Monday morning.

“I just thank God everyone made it out safely and you can always rebuild, but you can’t get another life. I’m just happy with that. God is a protector,” said Jackson. “I’m at peace because it could have been the other way around. Lives could have been lost.”

Witness and neighbor Damon Freeman credits the oldest brother, a 17-year-old, for getting his younger 11-year-old brother out of the house safely.

“This is so sad that a family lost everything but the best thing about it is they got away with their lives. We’re not out here talking about somebody that died in the house,” said Freeman.

The fire caused damage to the home officials described as “catastrophic.” There were no injuries to residents or fire-rescue personnel.

A viewer shared this video he took of the fire.

December and January are the peak months for residential fires in Hampton Roads due to careless space heater use and cooking while distracted. Click here for firefighters’ advice to protect your home during these months. Again, the Fire Marshal’s Office is still working to figure out what sparked this house fire. Stay with WAVY for updates.

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