Portsmouth house condemned in fire; ODU student makes sure elderly woman is OK


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — No injuries have been reported after Portsmouth firefighters battled two separate house fires early Wednesday morning.

Portsmouth fire officials said in a news release the first fire was reported around 1 a.m. at a home on Riverview Avenue. Firefighters located the fire in the back wall of the home.

Everyone inside the home was able to get out safely, officials said. 

A house on Harvey Street in Portsmouth is seen heavily damaged following an early morning fire on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. (Credit: WAVY/Kiahnna Patterson)

Just before 1:15 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to  Harvey Street in the Churchland area. The first units on scene reported a heavy fire from the roof of the home, which ended up collapsing because of the flames. 

The house has been condemned as investigators are working to determine the cause.

Neighbors told 10 On Your Side an elderly woman lives at the home, and that she was able to get out safely. 

The man who called 911, Dylan Heyman, said he was driving home on VA-164 when he saw the flames. Heyman said he drove around until he found the house.

Once he got there, Heyman said banged on the door to make sure no one was inside.

The family that lives next door said they are thankful for Heyman’s actions.

“Dylan thank you so much. Thank you so much,” said Davita Coltrane. “We can not thank you enough. We just pray blessing upon him because he was on the right place at the right time.”

Pastor Marlon Harvin of Pentecostal Holiness Church is also thanking the ODU student for his help in keeping the woman inside, safe. The church is located adjacent from the home and the pastor says the woman rescued is a member of the church. 

“Nothing but the grace of God that she is alive and that is the main concern that she is safe and the neighbors are safe and her family is safe,” said Pastor Harvin. “It’s a blessing, it’s definitely a blessing and thank God for the ODU student and those that were in the area who came up to rescue.”

Officials said the Chesapeake Fire Department provided assistance to Portsmouth crews.

The early morning fires come one day after firefighters were called to a home on Carol Lane to investigate a fire officials said could be arson.

WAVY’s Noelle Kachinsky, Kevin Green and Kiahnna Patterson contributed to this story.

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