Virginia Beach attic fire caused by ‘smoking materials’

Posted at 2:11 PM, Apr 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-11 17:56:34-04
Photo: Twitter @VirginiaBeachFB

Photo: Twitter @VirginiaBeachFB

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Firefighters responded to a report of heavy flames in an attic Monday afternoon.

Crews were called to the 5200 block of Lake Victoria Arch around 1:45 p.m.

The fire department tweeted that the fire was under control at 2:22 p.m.

Geneva Mitchell lives in the unit below the fire. She was cooking and thought someone was grilling next door when she saw the smoke until a man came pounding in her door.

"He said 'everybody get out there's a fire fire,'" she said.

She screamed for her son, Marcus, and ran from the house without shoes on with only the clothes she was wearing.

Marcus is grateful to the man who warned them.

Marcus Mitchell said, "My mom could've been asleep, I could've been asleep, God forbid."

Firefighters said the man who lives in the unit where the fire started was smoking out on his deck, then went inside to do work in another room.

Virginia Beach Fire Department Public Information Officer Art Kohn said, "Next thing you know he's got neighbors alerting him to the fact that he's got a big fire raging on his deck which is where he was smoking."

Firefighters say they've dealt with several brush fires and structure fires caused by smoking in recent days, saying the dry windy conditions don't help.

"It's a recipe for disaster. Here's the thing--when you have those conditions there's very little margin of error when it comes to smoking materials," said Kohn.

No one was injured.

"I'm just blessed right now and thankful everyone's okay," said Mitchell.