Woman found dead after fire in Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A woman was found dead after a fire Wednesday in Norfolk, and officials said the fire is considered suspicious.

The fire was reported around 6:15 p.m. at a house in the 3400 block of Vivian Street, off of Norview Avenue. Battalion Chief Julian Williamson with Norfolk Fire and Rescue said smoke was coming from the one-story home when crews arrived.

Firefighters went into the structure, and found the victim, a woman, who was pronounced dead on the scene. Investigators have not yet said how the woman died and have not released her name.

Williamson said someone was living with the victim.

Neighbors told WAVY News’ Anne McNamara they fear the victim was the elderly woman who lived in the house, a longtime resident. They said she was last seen earlier Wednesday walking her dog.

Neighbors said she kept to herself, but rented a room to a younger man, who was last seen Monday leaving with bags in hand. Williamson said investigators were trying to get in touch with that man.

Neighbor Steve Carhart said he rushed to the house when he saw the fire.

“I went and pounded on the bedroom windows, just to see if there was anybody in there. We thought about going in there, the fire people on the phone told us not to because she had dogs in there and we didn’t know if the woman who lived there was in there,” said Carhart.

Carhart said he had lived next door to the homeowner since he was a baby.

“We grew up together. She used to be my babysitter when I was a kid. She took me to see The Beatles when I was 10 years old. She was the nicest person you’d want to meet,” said Carhart.

Fire investigators used a K-9 and gas can while working at the scene of the fire. Several detectives went back inside in the home late Thursday afternoon.

Police have not released any information about suspects.

Stay with WAVY.com for any new information.

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