A home at 815 Anderson Street caught fire late Saturday afternoon. Crews are currently working to extinguish the fire, the cause of which is still presently unknown, Charlottesville Fire Department Chief Andrew Baxter told The Cavalier Daily.
The fire was reported to 911 by multiple callers just after 4:00 p.m. for heavy smoke and sounds of explosions. Firefighters reported they saw heavy fire and heard what they believed to be stored ammunition exploding due to the heat of the fire.
There were no burn injuries, though one person in the vicinity was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation, Baxter said.
At the peak, the fire was considered a “three alarm” fire, indicating a significantly larger deployment of fire engines, ambulances and police cars, according to Baxter. Amanda LeMon, who lives next door to the burning building, said the first responders have been successful.
“Oh my goodness, all hands on,” LeMon said. “They’re great at calming the onlookers, especially the neighbors. Both the fireman and police.”
LeMon’s home was not externally damaged, though the siding on the house on the other side was melted by smoke. LeMon’s mother-in-law, Carol Mayer, expressed sympathy with the home’s owners.
“I feel really sad for these here people,” Mayer said. “This is a historic home.”
The home’s owners were not present during the fire.
Baxter said the home’s architecture played a contributory role in the fire’s spread.
“Once the fire got started, it’s literally everywhere in the house very, very quickly,” Baxter said.
Jeff Brooks, a Hampton Roads resident who is renting a house on the block, said he wasn’t in the area when the fire started, but his dogs were.
“Your first thought is ... I hope it’s not me, not my dogs, not my house,” Brooks said. “[Then] you shift your thoughts to those who own the house ... right now, it’s about caring about a lot of people and wanting to check on my dogs. That’s what I’m thinking.”
Baxter says the officers will be on the scene for several more hours.