HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Fire officials have confirmed the identities of the man and woman killed in an early morning New Year's Eve house fire in Glen Allen.
Janet M. Hall-Lane, 60, and her husband, John C. Lane, 76, died in the fire. Two others were injured.
The fire started in the 10200 block of Heritage Lane off Staple Mill Road around 1:30 a.m. and crews arrived within five minutes to find the back of the two-story home engulfed in flames.
Four people were home at the time. A 50-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy, who family members say are the couple's son and grandson, managed to escape by jumping from an upstairs window. They were taken to VCU Medical Center and are expected to survive.
Fire crews say the man was alerted to the fire due to a working smoke detector.
While firefighters doused the flames, other crews searched for two others believed to be inside, but heavy flames upstairs forced them to delay their search. It took crews an hour-and-a-half to get the blaze under control. Then search crews were able to go back in and continue looking for the two remaining residents.
Neighbors were seen comforting family members during this terrible loss.
"They're fabulous neighbors. Both just great people," one neighbor told NBC12. He did not want to be identified. "Both [were] in the Richmond public schools system. Both of them were principals."
Family members say Janet was an assistant principal at Bellevue Elementary and has worked for Richmond Public Schools for over 30 years. Their family members also told us John had retired from the same school system, and the couple had three boys.
Their cause of death is due to thermal and inhalation injuries, and their manner of death was ruled as an accident, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined.
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