Firefighters still trying to determine cause of Grove Avenue fire

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
and Evrod Cassimy - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Firefighters are still mopping up after a three-alarm fire in the 2700 block Grove Avenue in Richmond's Fan District on Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters will be on scene through mid-afternoon Thursday, at the latest, trying to figure out how the fire started.

At around 3 p.m., Richmond fire units responded to a three-alarm fire at 2703 Grove Avenue near the intersection with the Boulevard. As of 5:20 p.m., Richmond fire reported the blaze to be under control.

At one point, there were more than 60 fire fighters on scene. The smoke from the fire was heavy and thick. Retreat Hospital is one block away from the fire and authorities recommended that the hospital cut off their HVAC units due to the smoke.

Exclusive video shows how hard firefighters worked to put out the house fire. The only person home at the time made it out alive and describes the moments before the fire broke out.

"I was on my computer sending somebody an e-mail and heard somebody banging on the front door and the dog started barking so I went down and saw somebody trying to break into the house. I asked them what they wanted and they said you're house is on fire," said James Steis.

Firefighters will be on scene through the night as investigators determine the cause of the fire. Sties wishes he had a way to recover some of his irreplaceable belongings.

"I should have had an offsite backup for my computer files…It's a puddle on the second floor," he said.

The homes in The Fan are separated by just feet. Firefighters tell us that they worked hard to make sure that no other homes caught fire.

"I was certainly worried for my own house watching the smoke and the little embers that were burning flying through the air," said William Hark.

While their neighborhood is crowded with flashing red lights, neighbors are happy that no lives were lost in the blaze.

"I wasn't hurt. My dog wasn't hurt. None of the fire department were hurt and the rest of its bricks and plaster. That can all be replaced," Sties said.

Sties said he has no idea what could've started the fire.

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