PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Officials tell us around 10:00 a.m. Saturday firefighters responded to an alarm at the Jefferson South of the James apartment complex located at 1800 Boydton Plank Road.
Gloria Lipscomb and her husband Frederick have lived at this apartment complex for the last three years. They were leaving for the post office on Saturday morning when they looked outside to find a startling surprise.
"I looked out the window and went outside and looked and after I heard the fire trucks I told my wife I said the building is on fire and she came out there and they were putting the fire out and smoke was everywhere," Frederick Lipscomb said.
Officials believe the fire started in the basement of the complex spreading and damaging several units. They say the fire spread up the side of the building destroying much of what was inside.
Two families lost their homes entirely while four adults were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Gloria and her husband say they are thankful that no one was hurt and that fire officials responded quickly.
"We seen all of this smoke was coming out of the building and then we seen all these fire trucks and things coming thankful everybody got out safely its just terrible because they just remodeled that building," Gloria Lipscomb said.
They say while rebuilding can be a long process replacing another life would have been impossible.
"My heart goes out to them and I hope maybe they get help from the Redcross and find somewhere to stay or maybe the manager will give them a new apartment."
Within 10 minutes crews had the blaze under control. The fire was contained in the basement unit.The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental, and is under investigation. Damage estimates are not known at this time.