10 kids, 5 adults displaced after fire damages townhouses in Chesapeake

Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — No injuries were reported after a fire damaged several townhomes and displaced more than a dozen people Thursday night in the Deep Creek area of Chesapeake.

Officials with the Chesapeake Fire Department said the fire in the 2700 of Elkhart Street started around 8 p.m. Firefighters had it under control in about 45 minutes, and it was out by 10:15 PM.

But that was enough for resident Veronica Bell, her husband and two grown children to lose everything. Two smaller children lived next door where the fire apparently started. Bell alerted that family that they were in danger.

“They were still sleeping and I had to go pound on the door. When he finally came out and there was a language barrier because they speak Spanish and I tried to tell him there was a fire, and he just kept looking. I had to point, and when he saw it he ran upstairs and got his kids out.”

Crews were placing a tarp on the roof Friday morning and boarding up the homes, some of which burned from front to back.

WAVY’s Chris Horne reports six homes were condemned.

The main townhouse was heavily damaged and the nearby townhouses had moderate damage, officials said.

The American Red Cross said they assisted four families impacted by the fire, and 14 people total.

Bell and her family were able to stay in a nearby hotel Thursday night thanks to the Red Cross, and after this devastating fire took all their belongings, they won’t have far to move.

“We were blessed. Our rent office is giving us an apartment right behind here. So we’re getting ready to get our keys right now and move in.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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