VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Two adults, their 4-year old child and two pet dogs were displaced by a fire that destroyed their townhouse Thursday in the 4500 block of Marlwood Way.
According to the Virginia Beach Fire Department, crews responded to the call a little after 2 p.m. First units on scene reported heavy smoke and flames visible in the front of the structure.
Although the fire was knocked down in a little more than 30 minutes, the townhouse was almost completely destroyed. There was some exterior damage to the unit next door, but no citizens or firefighters were injured.
Virginia Beach Fire Investigators believe the fire was the result of improperly discarded smoking materials.
According to the VBFD, a recent study conducted by the National Fire Prevention Association reported that 1 in 20 home structure fires were started by smoking materials. These fires cause one in four of home fire deaths and one in ten home fire injuries.
Most fire-related deaths are from residential fires ignited by smoking materials, such as cigarettes.