About 30 people displaced as Virginia Beach apartment fire destroys roof

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Posted at 5:38 AM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 16:40:28-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Investigators are searching for the cause of a fire at an apartment building early Thursday morning.

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.

The apartment complex is called Legends at the Beach, and it's in the 3100 block Hunters Chase Drive. That's just a few minutes away from the Lynnhaven Mall in the Plaza area.

The fire was reported around 4:30 a.m. Fire officials said it was a two-alarm fire, and it took about an hour and a half to put out the fire.

One building with 18 units appears to have been destroyed. A building next to the one with the fire also looks to have some heat damage.

Neighbor Vivvian Smith told News 3 that the sirens woke her up.

"The unit was in flames; the whole thing. Oh my gosh, it was really scary," described Smith. "I was just thinking somebody could have been hurt or killed. My heart was jumping! You never know things can happen so fast."

Acting Virginia Beach Fire Dept. Chief William Skelaney spoke with News 3 later and said initially at least eight families have been displaced and the Red Cross has been notified. Later Thursday, officials said 18 units, or about 30 people, have been displaced.

In May 2015, the same complex had a large fire,and 16 units were destroyed. When asked about the previous fire, Chief William Skelaney said, "It's just typical of the construction of these buildings. Back in the day, that's how they built them. There are inherent fire problems that we have to deal with."

There is no information on the cause of the fire reported Thursday as crews investigate.