RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Elderly residents are counting their blessings. They survived after their apartment building catches fire.
The fire broke out at the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority apartment building on the 16 hundred block of 4th Avenue around 8:30 Thursday night, and residents have since been let back in. But fire crews are still on scene right now assessing the damage.
Firefighters say a resident on the 3rd floor was cooking and left a pot on the stove. That pot is what caught fire. About 75 residents had to be evacuated from their homes. They were let back in about an hour later. The 3rd floor suffered water damage after the building's sprinkler system came on. Firefighters say it was that sprinkler system that prevented this fire from turning deadly.
"Absolutely with the residential sprinkler system that they have at this facility here on 4th Avenue north side it did its job and kept the sprinkler, the fire in check, the sprinkler head activated and put the fire out," said Lieutenant Mike Oprandy, Richmond Fire Department.
"Terrible water damage. Nasty water smelly stuff," said resident Margaret White.
Despite the water damage these residents are just thankful no one was hurt in this fire. Residents on the third floor will have to find a temporary place to live as building management fixes the apartments damaged.
Right now authorities do not have an estimated amount of damage. They tell us that the third floor has mostly water damage.