CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Firefighters are investigating a fire they believe was started on purpose. Investigators say a man dove out of a back window to escape the flames and smoke.
"I just had gotten out of the shower, and my wife had screamed, 'The house is on fire! The house is on fire!'" said Garnet Bass.
Garnet Bass ran to his window to see flames leaping through the front door of his sister's home. He was relieved to see her truck was gone, so she had already left for work, but he quickly realized his brother-in-law was inside.
He immediately jumped into action and ran towards his family's house just a few doors down.
"I was going to kick down the front door, but it was too engulfed, so I was yelling his name, 'Jimmy! Jimmy! Jimmy!' and he finally responded. He said 'I'm in the back' or something like that. I heard his voice and then the glass broke and I saw him come around the backside of the house," Garnet said.
Fire crews first on the scene say they heard a working smoke detector. Wind was not a factor here, and from the outside, the house doesn't look so bad - it's the inside that's damaged from both fire and smoke.
A fire spokesperson says crews were able to control the blaze quickly, so the victim's injuries were the real focus.
"For whatever reason he was unable to get out and had to make that daring escape out of the back window. Hopefully things will be good for him and everything will work out, but he did suffer some severe smoke inhalation, so we are hoping and praying that we are going to be okay," said Lt. Jason Elmore with the Chesterfield Fire Department.
Family and friends say they are also waiting--hoping for the best for their loved one.