9 displaced in overnight house fire in Suffolk

A house on Clay Street in Suffolk where officials say nine people were displaced in an overnight fire July 3, 2017. Credit: WAVY/Chris Horne.

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Nine family members including six children are homeless after a fire early Monday on Clay Street.

The fire department says it heavily damaged the back porch and rear of the two-story home.

“I looked out the window and I saw fire engines from one end to the other,” said Calvin Edwards, who lives across the street.

The damage appeared to be limited to the back half of the residence. The fire department says the porch was the worst, but then the fire spread to the interior of the home.

“I wouldn’t want to wish that on no one,” Edwards said. He has seen fire damage like this before, when his own home caught fire recently in a previous neighborhood.

A Red Cross response team is helping the three adults and six children with the basics and has found them a motel where they can stay in the meantime.

Marissa Nihill, Executive Director of the American Red Cross for Coastal Virginia, spoke with 10 On Your Side’s Chris Horne.

“It’s devastating. When you have a home fire, you lose everything. But we’re fortunate in this case that everyone’s alive.”

The family across the street, who has been in the victims’ shoes, has a message of moral support.

“It’ll get better, it will get better. Just hang in there.”

The Red Cross also mentioned a program that will take effect in the fall and could save lives and property. Sound the Alarm will provide and install free smoke detectors in high risk neighborhoods in Hampton Roads. Learn more here.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Stay WAVY.com for updates to this story.