House fire leaves one dead in Petersburg

By Nicole Bell - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – A fast moving house fire left a man dead and his family devastated. The fire started around 1:00 a.m. Monday in the 2700 block of County Drive in Petersburg.

The fierce fire left it's footprint on the house and the heart of Adan Martinez. His older brother, Jose, became trapped inside the home when the fire broke out.

"He used to work and work. He liked working. He worked every day. He'd go early in the morning and come back in the night," said Martinez.

The victim was home alone in the two bedroom house when the fire started.

"He was located in the bedroom in the middle of the home on the floor," said Petersburg Deputy Fire Marshal, Jeff Fleming.

Martinez and two other friends lived in the house with the victim.

"We went out last night and we came back and saw the fire and police," said Martinez.

The victim and his brother had come to the area from Michigan, about a year ago, to work on a construction project at Fort Lee. The project is nearly complete and the brothers were looking forward to going back home to their families in Michigan.

Calvin Parham owns an auto repair shop near the scene of the fire -- he calls the victim and his brother good guys.

"We'd associate with them and everything. We did work on their vehicles and we got close to them and it's sad because we knew him personally. He was real quite. He didn't bother anybody," said Parham.

Investigators say it's unclear if the home had a working smoke detector.

Martinez wants to know what sparked the fire. For now, he's left with more questions than answers.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire officials say they do not suspect foul play.

Petersburg Fire Department is reminding residents of the importance of having a working smoke detector inside a home. If you can't afford a smoke detector the department will install one in your home for free.

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