HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Firefighters in Hampton responded to a two-alarm fire at the Mill Creek Landing Apartments, early Saturday.
Hampton Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Chittum said crews responded to the fire around 1 a.m. in the complex off of Atlantic Avenue.
Some witnesses told 10 On Your Side they heard a loud bomb and then all three floors went up in smoke.
When firefighters arrived on scene, they reported heavy fire, flames, and smoke coming from the three story complex. The fire spread quickly and caused heavy fire and smoke damage to three adjourning units.
Michael Kohl, who lives in a building nearby, says his wife was on their balcony when she smelled smoke. She quickly saw the flames and ran into action while he called 911.
“She ran immediately down, knocked on several doors to alert people,” he said. “There was no one in the parking lot at that time.”
The fire was called as a two-alarm fire because of how quickly it spread and grew. Two residents were rescued by ladder from the second floor. Fire crews made an exterior attack as well due to the large fire load and flames.
The fire was contained and extinguished several hours later after numerous hotspots kept popping up throughout the morning.
Firefighters battled the flames and hotspots until early this afternoon, citing the partial building collapse as the reason why this blaze was so hard to control.
“We’re having to deal with that for the safety of our firefighters,” said Battalion Chief Anthony Chittum. “And trying to make sure that we slow down now that the true emergency is over of the fire spreading.”
The fire is under control, but crews were still on scene late Saturday morning monitoring for hot spots. 12 units in the complex suffered smoke, fire and water damage, 6 units are a total loss and 3 others are severely damaged.
“We talk to each other and they’re still trying to process it,” said Kohl. “We’re all very lucky, fortunate, glad nobody really got injured. It’s all just structural damage.”
There were no injuries reported, but one canine and two felines are unaccounted for.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and the Red Cross was on scene throughout the day helping those displaced by the fire.