PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth daycare that caught fire last month was operating without a state license.

Nine children were in the townhome on April 13 when smoke began pouring out the windows, causing seven children to jump out a second floor window into the arms of neighbors.

They were a part of Indoor/Outdoor Reach LLC daycare.

A spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Education says there’s an investigation into the daycare. It was only licensed through the City of Portsmouth and could only operate with fewer than five children. 10 On Your Side spoke with a woman who lives at Charlestowne Condos and has reported the daycare for operating in a housing complex when it should not have been.

She said she reported the issue to the property manager several times since it opened in 2018, but said nothing was done.

“I can’t fathom why they won’t respond to anything,” said the longtime residentm who is frustrated by the lack of action.

The woman who spoke with WAVY anonymously has lived at Charlestowne for more than 30 years and spent time on the complex homeowner’s association. She says when Indoor/Outdoor Reach LLC first opened, she and other residents immediately reported the business to Charlestowne’s property manager, Atlantic Management Company, and the company’s owner, Phil Massa.

The daycare owner was blocking several residential parking spots with two buses.

“He doesn’t answer and usually when I call over there and report stuff they tell me you can put it on his voicemail,” the woman explained.

When the fire broke out, she called Massa immediately. Another employee answered, shocked to hear of the fire, and told her to leave Massa a message about it. She said she never got a call back or saw Massa on the property.

“That’s why the place is so messed up,” the woman stated.

10 On Your Side reached out to Massa on April 13 via text and phone, and again weeks later through text, phone call and email asking if he knew the daycare was there. The messages were received, but we never got a response.

Atlantic Management Company has an office in Virginia Beach, so 10 On Your Side stopped by. The door was locked and there was a sign saying the company is open for appointment only. We knocked and spoke with an employee named Tyler, who said Massa was out for a family emergency and to send him an email. Tyler was unable to answer our questions.

We’ve also reached out to daycare owner Dewanna Seward with no success.

The daycare is currently under investigation by the Virginia Department of Education, which requires a business to be licensed if between five and 12 children are present. Nine children were inside when the fire occurred.