By BILL WYATT
Five people were evacuated, though no injuries were serious
A house fire in Martinsville, Virginia on Wednesday morning left five people homeless. However, there were no injuries.
Martinsville Fire & EMS responded to the 314 Forest St. call at 8:31 a.m. The first engine was dispatched at 8:35 am. When it arrived, the firefighters found a structure fire that had been burning in a single-family home with two floors. One of the residents and their dog were trapped on the roof.
Martinsville Fire Chief Dan Howell said that the person who was on top of the house had broken through a window to crawl out. The firefighters got both the man and dog out safely. However, it wasn’t clear if there were any other people in the home. So we started a search-and-rescue operation while fighting the flames.
The other four people in the home were able to escape safely.
A woman asked to go to hospital for a check-up, although her injuries did not seem to be life-threatening. Howell reported that the American Red Cross was on scene to assist the residents who were displaced.
Howell said, “The fire marshal has condemned the building and I have estimated that the damage is about $66,000.”
A supplementary heater was found to have caused the fire on the 2nd floor. Smoke detectors that were not working prevented the residents from being warned.
Howell stated that anyone can obtain smoke detectors for free in the city. All they need to do is contact the fire department, and we will come and install it.
Martinsville Fire and EMS concluded their operations by 11:34 a.m. Water and smoke damages were also caused by the fire, which was a major problem on the attic and second floors.
Martinsville Public Works, the Martinsville Volunteer Fire Company and Henry County Department of Public Safety assisted.
Howell encouraged any Martinsville resident to call 276403-5325 for free smoke detectors to be installed. Henry County residents can also take advantage of a similar program by contacting the Henry County Department of Public Safety, 276-6344660.
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