RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A massive fire destroyed a Jackson Ward home Monday night and now firefighters believe a space heater likely caused the blaze on Clay Street.
“It was an extremely, extremely fast moving fire,” said Vernon Allen. He lives at the back of the home.
Monday night he smelled smoke and went to alert the home owners who live in the front.
“By the time I got downstairs I could hear him yelling to his wife, ‘Get out! Get out!’” said Allen.
Everyone made it out okay but the home has been condemned because the damage is so severe.
“This is home and this is the hardest thing,” said Allen. “Regardless of what insurance pays me to replace the things that I’ve lost, I’ve lost my home.”
Investigators believe a radiant oil space heater likely caused the fire and they’re issuing a life-saving warning.
“If you’ve got a heater in your room somewhere it should be three feet from any source of combustion,” said Richmond Fire Capt. Williams Martin.
Space heater fires are extremely dangerous.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reportes they cause more than 25 thousand fires nationwide every year.
“You see it on the news but until you go through it yourself you just don’t have a clue,” said Allen.