Second fire at Fairhill apartment complex in Richmond

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Fire officials say they are investigating both incidents tonight and do consider last night's fire to be arson. While investigators decide if the two cases are linked, residents have their own ideas.

By Thursday morning, half of this Fairhill apartment building had no roof and firefighters were everywhere. But this daytime scene actually began around 8:15 Wednesday night. That's when Davina Reese heard a fire alarm and worried about her neighbor.

"We got someone to kick down the door and make sure she wasn't in there because we looked in the back and saw flames coming out her bedroom window," said Davina.

Five and a half month pregnant Latoya Percer happened to be at work.

"I got a call and they said my apartment was on fire. After I talked to the police investigators and fire marshal and stuff, they told me that somebody had broken into my house and set it on fire," said Latoya.

By 9:45 Thursday morning the building was on fire again to the dismay of every resident.

"I don't have an apartment. I don't have nothing now. I lost everything," fire victim Burnetta Jones said.

Everyone managed to get out safely and no firefighters were hurt when the roof gave way.

But residents are convinced this was also arson.

"I know I work too hard to lose everything and I just hope they catch whoever did it," Davina said.

In just two days, two fires have left nine people displaced.

"It's crazy. It's transformed me and my baby," Latoya said.

"Whoever doing this. I don't know they doing it for the hell of it. Or just don't care," Jones said.

The Red Cross is helping the displaced people, giving them debit cards to buy clothes and putting them in a hotel for at least four nights. The apartment manager is says she will have new units available for them on Monday.

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