UPDATE: Police have arrested and charged 39-year-old Wendyll Troy Brownie with attempted murder in relation to this fire. He is from North New Ave. in Highland Springs.
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Police have launched a criminal investigation after an elderly woman was rescued from a house fire in Highland Springs early Friday morning.
Crews arrived at the home, located on North New Drive, shortly before 6 a.m. The fire has since been marked under control.
Henrico Fire officials confirmed with 8News that an elderly woman was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Neighbors and witnesses told 8News at the scene that the victim is a 78-year-old woman who appeared to have been assaulted.
“When they brought her out, poor thing, her face was beat, I mean so bad and blood all over her where somebody went in there and beat her and then set her house on fire,” neighbor Stanley Fitzgerald said. “When I got up, it was 20 minutes to six. I [saw] the lights from the fire truck, fire chief and I looked out the door and I [saw] her little dog standing in the front yard — that dog [is] never outside at night or anything.”
Curtis Bernard is a friend of the victim who said he has been taking care of her for 10-15 years.
“I look in on her, I take care of her dogs, I walk her dog every morning,” he said. “She’s a good woman, she’s like a momma;
I don’t know why somebody would want to beat her like that; beat her and try to kill her and burn her house down and I hope she don’t die.”
Officials have released few details at this time. Investigators with Henrico Fire and Police are both on scene.
released, but officials say the fire is being investigated by both Henrico Fire and Police.
This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.
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