6 rescued from apartment building fire in West Ghent area of Norfolk, 4 taken to hospital

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Several people were rescued from a three-alarm fire that broke out early Monday morning in the West Ghent area of Norfolk.

Dispatch said they were notified around 4:34 a.m. for the fire in the 900 block of Greenway Court. It was called in as a two-alarm fire and later upgraded to a three-alarm fire at 5:10 a.m.

Four people were rescued by firefighters via ladders put up to the three-story, 15-unit building, while two other people were rescued from inside the building. Norfolk Battalion Chief Stephanie Ramsey says the fire appeared to have started on the first floor.

Four people were taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Foye Bobbitt, who lives in the apartment building, says she was woken up by the sound of glass.

“I noticed the light out of my bedroom window looked orange. I got up. When I checked by bathroom window, I said ‘Hmmm,,” she said. “Went out to the back fire escape, looked at the side of the building, and there were flames lapping out the back bottom back apartment. From then, I don’t remember from then till sitting in this yard on the lawn.”

Bobbitt, who lived on the third floor, says she was able to grab her cats and knock on doors on the way down.

“I could’ve slept through the whole thing, you know?” she said.

Firefighters were able to rescue a few belongings for residents throughout the day.

“I got my chair and I got my plant, but they can’t go into my apartment at all because of the structual damage. But my car made it which is really surprising. Blessings, blessings, many, many blessinigs,” she said.

Firefighters were using multiple hoses on the building still as of 7 a.m., as the fire was going through the roof, and the fire appeared to be under control as of 8:20 a.m. The old building suffered major damage, and several portions had collapsed.

Battalion Chief Damon Langley says the fire spread quickly because its an older building built in the early 1900s.

“A day like this one is what we talk about and train for all the time. Being able to get here and have the ability to make a difference, to make a fire stop, save people, save valuables, and not have anything significant occur, it’s what we come to work for,” Langley said.

Later on Monday morning, firefighters went into the building to help retrieve residents’ belongings, and the Red Cross was helping the 12 to 13 families displaced. Local churches were also offering aid.

On Monday, Nov. 15, Public House in Norfolk said the business would donate all proceeds from the night of sales on Nov. 18 to the St. Andrew’s fund for the victims of the fire.

West Ghent was the location of a string of a suspicious fires starting back in February of 2020. The man accused of setting them, Ryan Elza, is currently in jail.

Stay tuned to WAVY.com for updates.

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