VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — One person died in a townhouse fire Wednesday night in the Hilltop section of Virginia Beach.
Crews with the Virginia Beach Fire Department were called to 400 block of Cadbury Circle just before 11 p.m. Fire department officials say crews arrived a few minutes later, and reported heavy smoke and a fire in the back of a townhouse.
“When I saw that the trucks and police remained for hours afterwards I figured something bad happened,” neighbor Rick Wisong said.
Fire department spokesman Jeffrey Smith said a fire crews found a 68-year-old man dead at the scene. Another person inside the home made it out safely.
The man killed in the fire was later identified as Edward “Ted” M. Wood, of Virginia Beach.
Two Virginia Beach police officers were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
“There’s heavy damage to the first floor, and moderate damage throughout. And right now we have fire investigators and Virginia Beach police investigators that are here now working hand-in-hand to determine not only the cause, but how this person was not able to make it out.”, said District chief Michael Barakey.
The unit is too badly damaged to live in, but officials said the surrounding units were OK.
Thursday morning, neighbors spoke with the homeowner.
“She said she came down the stairs into the living room where his bed was just a ball of fire,” next-door neighbor Mike Weber said.
Neighbors like Weber walked through the home with the homeowner. She told them she was the care-taker for the man. From the look of it he had fallen asleep with a lit-cigarette.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but officials said Thursday they were looking into the possibility that smoking materials were involved.
Whatever the cause, neighbors said this Thanksgiving will be marked by sadness on the block.
“It was really bad, our prayers are with the family,” said Wisong.
Stay with WAVY for developments on this incident.