Local man runs into burning building to save residents on Christmas

Posted at 2:32 PM, Dec 25, 2012

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - He's being called a Christmas Day hero for running into a burning apartment building to tell residents about the danger.

"I saw the top floor on fire so I jumped the gate and I kicked every door down in that building," 18-year-old Keon Whitted said. 

Henrico Fire Department Capt. James Mellon said the fire broke out just before noon at the Coventry Gardens apartments in the 200 block of Newbridge Circle.

The fire displaced 16 people according to officials however no residents were injured thanks to the heroism of Whitted.

"It was very heroic," Cpt. Mellon said.

"I didn't know why anyone would knock on my door," Maebell Pleasants, a resident of the complex,  said.

"When they yelled fire, I opened the door," Pleasants added.

When fire crews arrived they found flames shooting from the building's second floor and roof and a second alarm to get more crews to the scene.

Henrico fire officials say they do not encourage people to do what Whittick did.

After all many times untrained rescuers end up needing rescuing themselves.

The only people injured in the fire were the rescuers. Their injuries were minor according to fire officials - mostly smoke inhalation and ankle sprains.

The Red Cross is assisting the victims.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.