Assisted living facility fire ruled accidental

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

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A weekend fire at a Richmond assisted living facility was ruled accidental today. Investigators say Sunday night's fire at the Madison House Apartments on Chamberlayne Avenue was electrical, and started in a window heating unit. Richmond fire officials today praised the facility for its evacuation efforts.

82 elderly or disabled residents were forced out of the apartments, but no one was injured. The residents got out quickly which gave firefighters time to work on the flames.

"If everyone is accounted for then we can go in and combat the fire. If everyone is not accounted for then our first focus is always going to be, is life safety," said Jones.

Today, the building is still standing. Only one room was damaged. Administrators tell us the staff and residents were well prepared for this fire. They actually practice fire drills here once a month.

When the alarm sounded the residents that could, came down the stairs and met at a designated gathering area. Staff worked on putting out the flames. The rescue was quick.

"Whether you are at an assisted living facility, or at your home, make sure you always have a plan in place. Practice your drills...exit drills," Jones said.

If you need help developing a fire evacuation plan for your home or facility give the Richmond Fire Department a call at 646-6640. Members of the fire department will come out and walk through your property with you to develop an emergency plan.

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