Neighbors rush into burning Chesapeake home, provide assistance to family as fire destroys house

chesapeake house fire.jpg
Posted at 2:20 PM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 16:35:47-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Fire engulfed and destroyed a Chesapeake home along Washington Drive near Scenic Boulevard Tuesday morning. All that remained was burned rubble.

“I first saw it when it started,” Brittany Harris, a nearby neighbor, told News 3. "I didn’t know it was going to be very bad and out of nowhere up in flames."

Harris said she and her family saw the flames. The Chesapeake Fire Department said they got the call about the fire around 12:44 a.m.

Harris said instead of standing by, she ran into the burning home.

“My first instinct was, I was worried that someone was going to be stuck upstairs,” Harris said. “I was asking to make sure all the kids were okay, making sure the dad was okay."

The fire department said four adults and five children lived in the home and were able to get out. One firefighter was injured but was treated on the scene.

Harris added she not only helped the people inside the home, she helped their pets, too.

“One of the younger girls ran in to get the guinea pigs and her mom ran after her, and so I ran in behind her,” Harris said. “We grabbed their guinea pigs and we ran back outside. "

Kevin Johnson also lives nearby and sprang into action.

“It was instinct, trying to see what we could do. It was pretty engulfed." Johnson said. "I was just trying to put the fire out. All I had was a garden hose and it wasn’t really doing much; it was too late."

The fire department also said the fire was under control by 2 a.m. Crews spent the rest of the morning dousing rubble with water to make sure hot spots didn't reignite.

The Red Cross is assisting the family. Meanwhile, Harris said she is looking to start a GoFundMe to help the family and their pets.

“We are hoping this all pans out and just start to rebuild or something,” Johnson said. "It has to happen quickly."

Make sure to check back to this story for any new details and once the GoFundMe information is made available.