PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Two officers with the Portsmouth Police Department went to their greatest lengths on Saturday, helping an elderly couple out of their home during a fire.
At around 1:30 p.m., Officers Long and Nelson were in the 2700 block of Ash Street speaking to person about another incident when Officer Long observed flames in the window of a home.
While radioing to police communications about the possible fire, both officers ran to the home.
Once officers got to the home, they helped an elderly couple, who were trying to put out the fire with a pan of water, get out of the home safely.
Officer Nelson then immediately got a fire extinguisher from the trunk of his police car and put the fire out while Officer Long remained with the couple.
Portsmouth Fire Department personnel responded to make sure the fire was completely extinguished and to examine the couple for any possible injuries. The officers’ decisiveness and selfless acts prevented the home from becoming a fully involved fire.
Additionally, they removed the elderly couple from a situation that could have easily resulted in serious bodily injury or death.
The cause of the fire was determined to be by a small space heater placed too close to bedding in the home. Although this incident ended with everyone getting out of the home safely, the circumstances could have been different had the officers not been there and took immediate action.
This incident is also a good reminder for Hampton Roads citizens that during the winter months it is important to exercise caution when using space, kerosene, or other portable heating devices in our homes to stay warm.
Keep heaters of these types from coming into direct contact with clothing, bedding, curtains, furniture and any other flammable items in the home. Many of the operating manuals for these devices suggest maintaining a minimum distance of at least three feet away from flammable items.