CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Nine people were displaced following a house fire in the Great Bridge area of Chesapeake overnight.
Fire officials say they were notified around 12:44 a.m. of the fire in the 800 block of Washington Drive. When firefighters arrived on scene, flames had already consumed much of the home.
The fire was brought under control just before 2 a.m.
The residents were able to evacuate before fire crews arrived on scene. A firefighter was treated and released for minor injuries and a resident was taken to the hospital for evaluation for a complaint not related to the fire.
Four adults and five children are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.
Crews were still working to extinguish hot spots as of 8:30 a.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
By morning, 10 On Your Side found a pregnant mother searching through the ashes of her home.
Amber Hamric and her five children, along with her husband, father-in-law, and a family friend, got out alive and they are grateful.
We found the mother sitting on the back part of the car with her five children around her.
“A lot of people say they lost everything, but I still have everything, and that’s all that matters,” she said.
Along with human life, there was plenty of animal life too. There were 16 guinea pigs and two dogs rescued from the home.
Neighbor Brittany Harris helped out and says they will be taken to the local SPCA while the family goes to a hotel in Suffolk.
“I looked out across the street and the house was on fire,” Harris said. “I didn’t know what to do, so I ran, and I started freaking out, and the little girl ran back in to get the guinea pigs, and mom ran behind her, and I ran behind them, and we got them out.”
The only one injured was Joe Hamric Sr. He was taken to hospital but will be OK. His son is now on a mission to search for the mountain of debris to find something really important that belongs to his father: his Purple Heart.
“He came under attack, and he got hit, and it blew off a finger, he lost an eye, and he lost his toe. He came home and spent a year and a half in the hospital and received the Purple Heart,” Joe Hamric Jr. said.
Ironically, Joe Hamric Sr. has been in the news before. 10 On Your Side reported in 2010 about the time Joe Hamric Sr.’s pet monkey ripped his thumbs off. Joe Hamric Jr. remembers that, too,
“10 On Your Side reported on it… That monkey bit his thumb, tried to pry it off, pulled his own thumb off, the money tried to grab the other thumb, and he pulled that, and it was over,” he said.
“Dad has had a hard way to go, but that’s my man. He’s tough. He’s tough as nails. He’s going to make it,” he said.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help. To donate, click here.