Downed power line ignites house fire in Newport News

WAVY/Rico Bush

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A house fire triggered by a downed power line on Eastwood Drive knocked out power to thousands in Newport News Wednesday morning.

According to dispatchers, the fire started around 3:45 a.m. behind a home in the 200 block of Eastwood Drive.

Fire Chief R. B. Alley says the fire started when some tree limbs brought down a power line which ignited the side of the house. The fire ran up the side of the home, to the attic area and caught a natural gas line on fire.

The fire knocked out power to around 1,100 customers in the area.

Kathleen Martin, a resident inside of the home, was rescued from the fire and was unhurt.

“Couldn’t believe it. I just could not believe it what was happening. It was incredible,” Martin told 10 On Your Side’s Rico Bush. “Where did that all come from and what started it? I don’t know, but it’s pretty shocking.”

Martin says she heard a powerful explosion, followed by another explosion. She says that the house on Eastwood Drive has been her home for 16 years.

Martin says the house was total loss in the fire.

“We’re going to have salvage what we can. It’s going to be a rebuild.”

Virginia Natural Gas and Dominion Power responded to the scene Wednesday to work on securing the gas line and restoring power to the neighborhood.

Around 7 a.m., the number of outages in the area had been reduced to 467. By 11:15 a.m., Dominion Power’s outage map showed 164 outages in the area.

Crews were also working to remove the tree, which fell into the roadway Wednesday morning. The intersection of Nicewood and Eastwood was blocked off as crews worked to clear the scene.

Stay with WAVY.com for updates as they become available.

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