Maintenance man helps alert 17 people of apartment fire

Maintenance man helps alert 17 people of apartment fire

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Fire Department brought a two-alarm apartment fire near Virginia Union University’s campus under control on Saturday morning.

RFD reported that four apartments were impacted by the fire. Virginia Red Cross was contacted to possibly assist 12 adults and 5 children. RFD said in a tweet that there were no injuries to report.

Crews arrived to a fire at 2307 Cecil Road with heavy fire from the rear of the apartment around 9:30 Saturday morning, as flames and smoke billowed out the roofs of one of the buildings.

But prior to this, it was just a normal Saturday for Alvin Taylor Sr., a maintenance man the complex.

“I had somebody knock on my door, saying that they see smoke coming from a door. I ran over, I see smoke. So I got myself together, shot myself upstairs, kicked the doors, banged the doors, got the people out here,” Taylor said.

He was in full-on hero mode as he went unit to unit to warn tenants of the impending danger, which started in the back of the of apartments, according to RFD.

The fire quickly spread to a second, connected building, caused a 2nd Alarm to be declared, all while Taylor continued his quest of saving his tenants.

”When I opened [one] door, the whole apartment was flooded with smoke. I came back, I got everybody out of the building, I could hear the windows cracking,” he said.

Other nearby residents looked on.

“It was horrible. Yesterday was a horrible day,” said Theresa Jones.

Jones lives in the building next to the ones that burned, adding that she saw dozens of firefighter battling the 2-alarm blaze. She watched it all unfold, with bated breath.

“We were pretty worried about our building too, because it started spreading pretty quickly,” she added.

RFD says 12 adults and 5 kids are now displaced, and residents say a dog was killed. Regardless, things could have gone differently had it not been for quick-thinking and bravery displayed by Taylor, who says he was praised by firefighters and residents alike.

“But it wasn’t all about [praise], it was just make sure everybody was safe. That’s what I do; I do things for people,” he added.

Richmond Fire says the cause of the cause was determined as a kitchen fire, but that they are still investigating.

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