HENRICO, Va (WRIC) – A fire tore through an apartment complex in Henrico County on Monday leaving 19 people without a home.
Crews responded to a call for fire around 7 p.m. at the Hickory Creek Apartments in the 2300 block of Hickory Creek Road off Tuckernuck Drive.
First arriving units were at the scene within three minutes. They reported seeing heavy fire from the first floor apartment all the way up to the third floor apartment and through the roof.
Eight people were assisted out of the building as soon as fire crews arrived. After everyone was out safely, firefighters moved quickly to extinguish the flames inside.
The fire was knocked down in minutes and marked under control at 7:37 p.m.
Nobody was hurt, but the flames damaged eight of the ten apartments in the building. The quick response from fire crews prevented flames from spreading to any other buildings nearby.
Today, tenants are thanking Henrico Fire for their speedy work.
“By the time I had gotten my roommates out, the first fire truck was already pulling in,” said tenant Joshua Selland.
Selland says, at that point, the flames and smoke were already 15 to 20 feet high. Selland and roommate Emily Meredith had three cats and a dog inside their unit, but were initially only able to rescue the dog and one cat. The two other cats hid out of fear.
“We had to stand there and watch the building burn with two cats in it,” said Meredith. “But luckily the Henrico firemen were amazing.”
Selland says firefighters didn’t give up until all their animals were accounted for.
“They went in several times to look for them for us and they finally confirmed that they were okay,” said Selland.
Selland is also feeling lucky for a decision made just hours before the fire sparked.
“Even more serendipidous — that morning I decided to get renter’s insurance.”
“We’re very lucky,” says Meredith.
In all, 18 adults and one child were displaced as a result of the damage. The Red Cross is assisting them.
The Fire Marshal’s Office is currently investigating the origin and cause of the fire.
Stay with 8News for the latest on this developing story.