Chesterfield battles Hopkins Road house fire

By Gene Petriello - bio | email
Posted by Iva Radman

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT)--In the middle of a cold night, Chesterfield county firefighters battled flames shooting into the sky -- and brutally cold temperatures.

Around 12:30 a.m. on Monday morning, several fire units arrived at this house on Hopkins road where they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the home. It took two hours to get the fire under control.

No one was home when the fire started. We're told the family that lives here was staying at a nearby hotel because of problems they were having with their furnace last week. No word on whether that furnace had anything to do with the fire.

Eddie Berry, Chesterfield Battalion Chief was on the scene. He says the burnt home, is an older style home. That, along with the tough conditions, made this fire a tough one to battle.

"So cold, battling elements. Our radios were freezing up the water was freezing up, icing up really quick," Berry said.

Crews finally left the scene around 11:30 on Monday morning.

We found out from firefighters on the scene and neighbors that the family that lived in the burnt home ran a catering service out of the home. They also had a garden in the backyard.

"People would drive around their driveway, leave money and get whatever they want," says neighbor Paula Burton. She knew the family affected by the fire for about 16 years.

"They are a sweet couple," says Paula. "They were really trustworthy people."

Firefighters faced some big challenges while fighting this fire.

"The cold weather not only wears down the firefighters but it's a tripping hazard, slipping hazard. We've battled the ice all night on the roof and on the ground," says Berry.

Another problem was the fact that one of the ladder trucks actually got stuck outside the burning home.

"When we got ready to move the unit, the ground just gave and one side of the unit just sunk down," says Berry.

"It is very sad," says Paula. "But, at least they were not in the house. That's what we are all thankful for."

Paula says she and her neighbors will work to help out the family that lost their home to the fire.

We're told there were no injuries as a result of the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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