Ghent apartment resident, comedian recounts how a firefighter saved his life during large fire

ghent greenway apartment fire cleanup.jpg
Posted at 2:44 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-06 13:44:48-04

NORFOLK, Va. – Cleanup and restoration crews salvaged what they could from an apartment complex on Greenway Court.

The apartment building in West Ghent caught fire Monday morning as residents slept.

“I wasn’t expecting to get anything back. Anything. Nothing. You can see the sky through my windows,” Foye Bobbitt said.

Bobbitt and her cats made it out safely. Now, four days later, she returned. She said it was an emotional yet cathartic day.

“It’s a bizarre feeling, it’s still so incredibly surreal.”

Brad McMurran says he nearly died in the fire, hours after celebrating Halloween.

“Thank God I’m lazy, because I stayed on my couch instead of going to my bedroom. If I would have been in my bedroom, which is on this side, I’d be dead because the fire started underneath that,” described McMurran.

“I thought I was dreaming for a second, and then I realized I couldn’t breathe,” he added.

“I heard the most beautiful noise I’ve heard in my life. It was the firefighter saying, ‘Are you in there?’ and I said ‘yes.’"

According to McMurran, he passed out and a firefighter threw him over his shoulder.

The comedian still has a cough after suffering smoke inhalation, but he’s able to find a bit of humor in a rough situation.

“I stayed up to watch “Columbo”. It’s odd. I keep saying Peter Falk’s "Columbo" may have saved my life,” McMurran laughed.

Meanwhile, McMurran says he’s planning a free comedy show at Push Comedy Theater in Norfolk and will invite all former residents of the apartment building as well as the firefighters who came to their rescue.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. Due to the significant amount of damage, officials say it will take time to report the true cause. They say there is no evidence that suggests that this was an intentionally set fire.

If anyone has any information about the fire, they can contact the Norfolk Fire Marshal's office at (757) 664-6604.

The American Red Cross is assisting residents.