Chesapeake house fire ruled suicide

Posted at 1:36 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-29 15:07:53-05

Chesapeake, Va. - Investigators say a person found dead inside a burning home in Chesapeake committed suicide.

Chesapeake Fire and Police units responded to the house in the 1300 block of Hoover Avenue Thursday around noon, police say.

Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire and that's when the body was discovered inside the home.

Neighbors tell NewsChannel 3 that it was an older woman found inside the home.

Some of them say they tried to run to her rescue when they saw the house was on fire.

"The guy across the street he hurt his foot trying to kick the door in and another guy across the street he helped out, we tried everything we could do," says Erica Smith. "I yelled through the window, I was screaming her name because she was yelling at first, then she became silent, that was it."

Neighbors described her as a very friendly, social person.

"She would walk down to our house and give our kids the little feathers off her pet bird," says Ciara Johnson. "I was crying, because I actually saw them when they brought her out and I just bust into tears, because you never imagine something like this happening."

Police would not confirm if it was a man or woman found inside the home, or how the fire was started.

"It smelled like electric," says Smith. "That's all I smelled when I was on the porch and I was trying to holler and scream her name, that's all I smelled."

Smith also says another woman lived inside the home, but was not there at the time of the fire.