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12-29-2010, 06:21 PM #1
Misuse of hair dryer to blame for deadly West End fire
I copied the article from Richmond Va below. Please check your smoke detectors and if you have a fire get out and stay out. Don't go back in for anything a fire doubles in size every 30 seconds.
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Two people are dead and two others injured after a house fire in the 5800 block of Guthrie Avenue in the Near West End in a neighborhood close to the intersection of Patterson and Libbie avenues.
The adult male victim in the house was using a blow dryer to heat his feet. We're told the blow dryer was positioned at the base of the mattress -- that mattress caught fire and the fire spread.
When the fire started shortly after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday, three people were on the top floor -- one person was on the lower level.
The victims, an adult male and a 15-year-old girl, attempted to put out the fire after the smoke alarm went off.
It's being called a devastating loss. A father, who relatives have identified as James Harvey Jr., 49, and his 15-year-old daughter, Jessica, died while trying to put out the fire.
Lorraine Baltz says Harvey was her favorite uncle.
"He was such a hard worker -- and worked two jobs. It just never ended for him. He was such a good guy," she said.
Investigators say, Harvey and Jessica could not put out the fire on the mattress. They then tried to get the burning mattress out of the house. The mattress ended up getting stuck in the stairwell -- blocking their exit from the home.
"All of this is just unbelievable, just unbelievable. I'm so sorry," said neighbor Rita Mattia.
Harvey's other teen daughter did make it out alive. So did his mother, who was rescued by firefighters. The grandmother is in serious condition at VCU Medial Center. The daughter had minor injuries. A dog also perished.
"With the love and support of each other we'll get through this," Baltz said.
Investigators have not released the identities of the victims. The family did have a working smoke detector in the home.
Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
Misuse of hair dryer to blame for deadly West End fire - NBC12 News, Weather Sports, Traffic, and Programming Guide for Richmond, VA |
Fire officials: Leave the firefighting to us
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - This morning's deadly house fire on Guthrie Avenue in Richmond's West End is just one of a number making our news headlines recently. There's enough of a pattern that local city and county fire departments are now joining together to try and find a solution.
Fire officials say that deadly fires on both a local and national level are prompting the need for more education and awareness.
In the past six weeks, seven people have died in four local house fires. On November 20, a fire in the 1900 block of Rose Avenue in Richmond claimed the life of a 67 year old man.
On December 21, it was tragedy in Chesterfield. A mother and her 12 year old son died in a house fire on Wrens Nest Road. Fire investigators say a faulty electrical socket was to blame.
On Christmas Eve, a Dinwiddie county man died in a fire in on Claiborne Road. Then, early Wednesday morning, a father and his 15-year-old daughter lost their lives on Guthrie Avenue in Richmond. A working smoke detector alerted the family to get out, but the victims tried to battle the blaze themselves, something firefighters urge you not to do.
Lt. Shawn Jones with the Richmond Fire Department says, "they need to leave that part of the job up to us. This is what we get paid to do, and this is how we protect them and their families. So your job is to make sure that you have a smoke detector in the home that is working and functioning, and then you leave the residence, call us, and we will come and do the rest."
Fatal fires and fires in general are up right now across the area compared to years past. It's something local fire departments are taking seriously.
Jones says, "it is an extreme concern and we are not through the winter yet; we still have a couple of months of cold weather left to go, so this is the time that we need people to be ever so vigilant and take the time to keep safety in mind."
Fire officials want to remind you that if you need a smoke detector or want fire officials to come and check out your home, you can set that up with your local fire department.BX1860 Mowing Machine
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