Man remembers his sister who died in Ocean View fire

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Fire investigators are still looking for the cause of a deadly fire. Friday officials said the fire ripped through a duplex on Kingston Avenue. It began at 2 a.m.

According to officials, a woman and two children in the home at the time were treated and released from the hospital. However, an elderly woman who was rescued by fire fighters didn’t survive.

Tuesday, Roylen Ridley told 10 On Your Side’s Brandi Cummings the victim was his 65-year-old sister Claudia Ridley.

“I was angry and I was hurt and I was sad and I wondered, Lord how,” Rylen said.

There are many emotions coupled with unanswered questions. Roylen told Cummings, “I wanted to know how. How could this happen to my sister who was so kind, so loving, so humble?”

Charred remains, debris, and crime scene tape remain from the massive fire Roylen says led to his sister’s death.

During the interview, Roylen gave Cummings new details about what he says his sister did early Friday morning.

Roylen says Claudia saved the life of her roommate, Valarie and the two children in the apartment when the fire started.

According to Roylen, “My sister woke them up. They were asleep and they got up…the son that was 13 and then they grabbed the baby, the toddler that was 2 years old, and they got to the window. The 13-year-old went out first then she with the baby in her arms tried to get out the window to jump and she lost her balance and she fell. [She] landed on her back and when she got a chance to sort of roll and look up at the window she looked for my sister and she never saw her come out of the window.”

There is little comfort for this grieving brother. Right now he has no answers and no closure

“I want to know how the fire started. I want to know how is it that it was impossible to get out of that building.  That’s important to me, because I lost her that way,” Roylen said.

Click here to help the family with funeral expenses for Claudia Ridley.

A candlelight vigil was held for Ridley Wednesday night. Her funeral will be March 12 at Graves Funeral Home.

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