Firefighter, neighbors save family of 5 from near deadly fire in Virginia Beach


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Five people, including three children, were hospitalized early Tuesday morning after a mobile home in Virginia Beach was destroyed in a fire.

Virginia Beach Fire Department officials said crews were called to Spartan Street in the County View Mobile Home Park just before 2 a.m.

This is a fire that could have killed a family. It burned hot and it burned fast.

Allyssa Pentz’s husband woke her up. “We realized there was a fire, and he ran down the hallway to try to get to the children, and I went out the back window to go around to the side of the house by the front door, and the kids’ window was by the front door … the front door was locked.”

Alyssa, her husband, and 7-year-old Kaira got out with the help of neighbors. “He was able to pull out a wooden block with an AC unit, and he pulled it out. Neighbors rallied and brought a ladder over and we were able to pull out my eldest daughter.”

Neighbor Carlos Ravera was there too. “Her husband, I pulled him out from the window, he was just hanging he was asking for help.”

Two of the children, a 2-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, were still inside at the time. One of the responding firefighters went into the burning home to rescue the children. 

Virginia Beach Spokesperson Art Kohn said it was the heroics of a firefighter just doing his job.

“He was able to get the 2-year-old and pass the 2-year-old out through the window, and then he went in, and got the five year old and got him. out just after that we had a flash over and there was a fire ball and the trailer was already engulfed in flames … At that point, that firefighter was running on pure adrenaline. What he did was nothing short of heroic. I’m saying that with not having been here and not having seen it, but you saw the trailer, the conditions that he went through.”

The firefighter said in statement, “You don’t think about yourself, you think about the kids.”

Gallery: Va. Beach mobile home destroyed in fire

All three children were taken to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, while the two adults were transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Pentz said the children are going to be transferred to a burn treatment center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She said they were sedated because of the pain from their burns and have breathing tubes from smoke inhalation. 

The most severe injuries are to 2-year-old Aurora, who had 30 percent of her body burned. She was unresponsive when she was transported.

“It is on her right side, down her right sidearm, down her legs over her ear,” says her grandmother Monica Davis.

The mobile home did not have working smoke alarms, according to officials.

But the bottom line was everyone got out alive. Even the family dog survived, and for that there is joy.

“We are so grateful for our neighbors rallying and coming together … 10 seconds later they would have died if our neighbors had not rallied to help.”

WAVY found Allyssa back at the mobile home clutching her daughter’s favorite stuffed animal. She also retrieved her father-in-law’s urn, a Christmas gift book for her husband, a Christmas ornament for her son. Identification cards, and birth certificates which thankfully will be needed for all five of these survivors in the future.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the fire, and a friend of the family has set up a GoFundMe account. Click here if you would like to contribute.

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