Apartment fire caused by charcoal grill on balcony

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - We have just learned that an early morning apartment fire in Chesterfield was caused by a charcoal grill on a balcony that reignited overnight. The renter has been charged with violating a state fire code as a result.

This happened around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 6100 block of Kim Court, at the Rollingwood Apartments.

We're told that when crews arrived, flames were shooting through the roof.

"I woke up out of my sleep and heard a bang noise and looked on the balcony and there was fire coming down," says Alexia George. Alexia ran out of her apartment with only her pajama's on.

"My kids were laying besides me. So, I ran and got them and then got my two other friends," says George.

George, along with her kids and other neighbors, were wrapped up in blankets for hours this morning, watching their homes burn. She lives on the second floor, just underneath the wall of flames.

"It just looks unbelievable. You'd never think that's happen to your apartment," she adds.

All 12 apartments here are damaged, and the Fire Marshall says no one can live inside.

The renter with the grill was charged with violating the state fire code, which says it is illegal to use a grill on an apartment balcony or within 10 feet of a building. That code apply to multi-family buildings.

Despite the massive flames, there were no injuries. "I'm just grateful that everyone got out and the lady upstairs got out too," says Alexia.

Some people told me they have renters insurance, which after looking at what happened at their complex this morning, they were grateful for.

The renter charged faces up to a 2,500 fine or a year in jail. The Red Cross is helping out some of these victims.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.