Officials: Careless smoking likely the cause of condo fire in VB


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Official say investigators believe careless smoking likely led to a two-alarm fire at the Brookside Condominiums in Virginia Beach Saturday afternoon.

Virginia Beach dispatchers say the call for the fire came in just before 3 p.m.

Firefighters were dispatched to the 4700 block area of Goldeneye Court.

Eight units in one of the complex buildings were involved, according to Virginia Beach Battalion Chief Joshua Goyet. Two were damaged by the fire and five units will likely be displaced.

A total of eight sustaining smoke and water damage. There were no injuries reported.

Virginia Beach was assisted by crews from Chesapeake and Norfolk. A second alarm was called because of the extensive nature of the fire, close proximity of buildings and windy conditions.

Nearby Vincent Schilling, who was in his home next to the complex at the time of the fire, says his wife smelled something burning.

“She goes ‘no, I’m telling you something’s wrong.’ I walk out to check and see a giant cloud of smoke,” Schilling said.

Schilling says he called 911 and waved firefighters over to the correct building.

“I couldn’t breathe for a minute. It was so smoky out there. It was a matter of minutes and it was up in flames,” Schilling said.

Randy Carson, who lived in the building that caught on fire, says he was watching basketball when it started and was alerted by firefighters banging on the door.

“I didn’t hear anything actually, surprised. I didn’t hear the fire trucks arrive. I was too engrossed in the game, I guess,” Carson said.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control within 30 minutes. Investigators believe a carelessly discarded cigarette is likely to blame for the fire.

While crews spent the afternoon investigating the cause, Carson was left getting all the belongings he could from his home.

Schilling said,  “What do you do? You’re a neighbor. You want to help.I don’t know what to do in a situation like this.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Stay on for updates.

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