CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Chesterfield family's home goes up in flames Thursday afternoon, and thanks to a fast acting neighbor, a man in a wheelchair makes it out alive.
Kadeem Bonner says he was outside and near the home in the 15700 block Tinsberry Place in Chesterfield, near Colonial Heights, when he saw his neighbors' home engulfed in flames. Bonner sprang into action.
Bonner said, "When I did it, it was just first instinct. I like helping people so that's just my mind-state."
That mind-state might have been the difference between life and death for a man still inside.
Jason Elmore, with the Chesterfield Fire Department, said, "there was an elderly gentleman that was confined to a wheelchair that was still upstairs in the home."
With the man still in his wheelchair, Bonner teamed up with a Chesterfield County Police Officer to carry the man down the stairs and out of the house to safety.
Bonner explained, "I didn't know the grandfather. I didn't even know he was at the house at the time until I ran to the house and I was like, 'oh, snap, he's handicap let me see if I can go and help him.'" Which he did.
The man was taken to the hospital for minor injuries but will be okay, along with the rest.
The cause of this fire was ruled accidental, the result of a child playing with a lighter. Which serves as an important reminder to all parents.
Elmore reminds, "Don't play with matches, don't play with lighters, this is one of those instances that it happened. He didn't think the fire was going to spread so quickly and it did. We're very fortunate we didn't have any further injury or death at this house."
Chesterfield Fire officials don't think the home is a total loss the family won't be able to stay there until it's fixed. The exterior of the home was badly damaged by the flames and smoke damaged the inside, as well.
No charges are expected to be filed.
All eight people who live at the home will have to find a new place to sleep tonight and are being helped by the Red Cross.
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