Fire damages Portsmouth apartment building overnight

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Fire damaged a Portsmouth apartment building overnight, forcing a man out of his home.

Firefighters tell 10 on your side’s Rico Bush, it started around 1:40 Thursday morning on Dinwiddie Street near County Street in a four-unit building. The fire was called under control around 1:55 a.m.

There was a good amount of smoke and water damage in the units. At first, investigators believed only the resident of one of the units would be displaced, but once they got into the walls they determined the damage extended further than they thought.  Firefighters say four adults and one child will be displaced until electrical repairs are made.

10 On Your Side talked to a resident who did not want to appear on camera. The man said he came home around midnight and fell asleep. About an hour later, he heard someone banging on his door telling him to get out of the building. The resident said the flames got bigger and bigger and the smoke got heavier. He and a neighbor got out safely.

“I’m very shocked,” said neighbor Chris Bacon.

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“It was very scary as to what could happen. I just thought the whole thing was just going to burn down. You know that’s the first thing you think of when the fire is happening,” said Bacon.

Investigators believe the cause is electrical, but they are working to figure out exactly how it started. The fire was determined to be accidental.

The building is said to be more than a 100 years old.

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