Man rescues love of his life from burning apartment, says electrical fire started from issues with dryer

Posted at 1:18 PM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 16:44:35-05

CARROLLTON, Va. – After two people were burned out of their apartment on Sunday, News 3 went back to the location to talk to the couple about how the fire started.

Lester Frisse told News 3 he and his life partner Patty were home watching TV Sunday afternoon when they smelled something burning and started to see smoke inside their apartment on Villa Court in Carrollton.

Frisse said he did not see any fire in the kitchen, but when he opened the door to the dryer, flames shot out. He knew he had to get Patty out of the house first and then call 911.

A day later, the Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department allowed Frisse back inside the apartment just to get a few things. He told News 3 much of the unit is damaged by either smoke or water. For now they are receiving help from the Red Cross, but Frisse said they plan to move in with relatives while the repairs are made.

Through tears, Frisse told News 3 his main concern was getting the love of his life out of the burning building. He said she struggles with high blood pressure and her medical conditions make it difficult for anyone to move her, but he is grateful they both got out safely.

News 3 asked the couple what their plan is for Thanksgiving and they originally planned to host a relative for the celebration, but now they do not know what they will do. Holiday plans are on the back burner for the time being.

Frisse said in the fire he lost a lot of memorabilia from his days refereeing high school basketball. Right now, he and Patty do not even have the basics they need.

The Carrollton Volunteer Fire Department confirmed complications with the electrical hook-up to the dryer is what started the fire Sunday afternoon around 1 p.m.