VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Six firefighters were injured battling an overnight fire that damaged 18 condo units in Virginia Beach and forced many residents out of their homes.
According to Virginia Beach Fire Battalion Chief Terry Tassone, the fire happened around 11:40 p.m. Thursday in the 2300 block of Page Court.
“Nobody’s out that time of night. It was close to midnight when it came in, so nobody’s out, so nobody saw it right away, so it got relatively big before we even got the call,” Tassone said.
Due to the close proximity, units from two other condominium complexes were involved in the fire. The building where the fire originated, the Dunes Condominiums off Shore Drive, is a complete loss.
Resident Phil Curtain said the fire sounded like a jet engine.
“Went downstairs, had to run back in and get my phone to call 911 and stood out on the corner with no humility, with just boxers on. All of the neighbors that I’ve never met were bringing us clothes and what not, and the Virginia Beach Fire Department has just been doing an awesome job,” Curtain said.
Curtain’s neighbor, Yolanda Pfeifer, got out with her dog. Later, crews were able to recover her purse.
“I think I’m in shock. Emotionally, I’m just in shock right now, but everything I lost can be replaced, so I’m fine,” Pfeifer said.
A second building, located at the Lesner Pointe East Condominiums, was extensively damaged by fire.
Mike Hopper said a neighbor knocked on his door, ensuring he and his family got out safely.
“That thing was just unbelievable, with flames. I mean, I had never seen anything like that before … We got all of our stuff that’s ruined, but we’re living today and breathing, so that’s the best thing that I can say,” Hopper said.
A third building, located in the Sunset Watch Condominums, was damaged by the heat. In all, 18 units sustained damage.
All residents were accounted for. Firefighters did not how many people will be displaced by the fire. None of the firefighters who were injured went needed to go to a hospital.
Virginia Natural Gas was at the scene early Friday and shut off the gas supply to the affected buildings. A Dominion Virginia Power spokeswoman said their crews arrived around 1:15 a.m. and had to cut power to about 200 homes in the area for at lease and hour. Power wasn’t restored for some until 8:30 a.m.
Friday afternoon, the Virginia Beach Fire Department confirmed the fire was caused by an underground power line shorting out. The power line fed into the Dunes condo building, officials said.
A spokeswoman for Dominion said the company had not confirmed if its equipment was involved, but was working to investigate.