Fatal fire ruled accidental in Norfolk

Posted at 2:16 PM, Jul 26, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-26 14:16:05-04

According to Julian E. Williamson, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief, PIO, a fatal fire on Painter Street has now been ruled as accidental.

Officials say on July 14, 2012, a call was received at approximately 5:07 p.m. for a reported structure fire at 474 Painter Street.

When fire crews arrived, they saw smoke showing and reported that a person was still trapped inside a two story apartment building.

Firefighters immediately began an aggressive interior search on both floors of the apartment building, according to Chief Williamson. During the search, firefighters located and removed one woman.

The 69-year-old woman was treated by paramedics on-scene and transported to the Trauma Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where she later passed away.

The fire is still under investigation, but it is being ruled as accidental at this time by the investigators.

Smoke detectors were present in the structure and alerted the occupants in the apartment building. Several occupants had to jump from a window to escape the fire.

The victim is identified as 69-year-old Shirley Harris of 474 Painter Street in Norfolk, Virginia.

Norfolk Fire-Rescue would like to stress the importance of having a working smoke detector in your residence. Norfolk Fire-Rescue strives for all residents in the City of Norfolk to have working smoke detectors in their homes. If you don’t have a working smoke detector in your home, please contact Norfolk Fire-Rescue at 757 664-6600 and firefighters will gladly come out and install a smoke detector in your home.