A Christmas morning blaze broke out just before noon in the 200 block of Newbridge circle. Firefighters are calling three neighbors heroes. They say their actions saved lives. The fire quickly scorched the entire apartment unit at Coventry Gardens Apartments.
"I saw guys coming over the fence running upstairs and make sure that no one was in those other apartments," said Joanne Pleasants, who was visiting her mother for the holidays when a loud knock came at the door.
"It was very brave for someone to jump the fence with these things up here like this, and I thank the Lord that they did," said Maebell Pleasants.
The three neighbors, knocking on the doors, were on a mission to save lives.
"So he kicked in that door upstairs where the main blaze was coming from to make sure nobody was in there," said Pleasants.
Captain James Mellon, with the Henrico fire department, says the neighbors quick actions saved lives.
"You know it is certainly heroic on their part, taking the time and getting in there and making sure that these people are out," said Mellon.
That was the good news, but the bad news is, 16 people are now homeless on Christmas. The neighbors are just counting their blessings.
"I'm thanking the Lord that everybody made it out, and we are okay," said Maebell.
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