CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A fire at a Chesterfield County home was out before firefighters even arrived. It was all thanks to a next door neighbor who jumped to action, saving the lives of three young children who were home alone when it happened.
"It was all up and I was trying to get it out and it flew up in my face and my hair and it got my chest and my shirt," said neighbor, Cathleen Alvis. "All these apartments could have went up. I could have lost everything I own."
It all started around 11 a.m. Friday morning. The three children, ages 12, 5 and 18 months were left home alone by their father, Roy, for about two hours. When he came back, firefighters, police and a department of social services worker were there waiting to talk to him.
"Roy called me. Mom! Mom! I need you," said the children's grandmother, Rosa Biggs. "We just found out. Mom! Mom! I need you! (My first reaction was) the kids."
When asked if they normally leave their kids at home Alvis said yes. She suffered first degree burns on her chest and head as she tried to put the fire out.
None of the children were hurt but Chesterfield Police tell us this isn't the first time Child Protective Services has been called to the home. For now, the neighbor hopes this serves as a reminder to parents as to why they should never leave young children unattended at home.
"Watch your kids," added Alvis. "Don't never leave your kids by yourself. No parent should leave their kids by their self."
The home is still livable and only suffered minor damage. The children's grandmother plans to take care of them while the incident is being investigated.