12 people escape South Richmond house fire

Posted at 6:48 AM, Nov 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-26 14:58:17-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Twelve people, including a family visiting from Miami, escaped an early morning house fire on Dorest Rd. in South Richmond.

The fire was caused by a combination of too many space heaters and old electrical wiring in the home, Richmond Battalion Fire Chief David Creasy Sr. said.

Smoke in the air woke the family about 4 a.m. Tuesday. By the time firefighters arrived, the fire had spread from the walls of the home to the attic. Fire crews contained the fire to the back of the house.

Creasy said the five adults and seven kids who escaped the fire did the right thing by not going back inside the house.

"Nighttime is the worst time for fires," he said. "It's dark and in the smoke it's hard to find your way out. But they did the right thing. They got outside and stayed there."

Jorge Vatilas and his family are in town visiting for Thanksgiving.

"You never think this will happen to you. It's the holidays and you think everything is going to be fine. But we had the fire and now we don't know what we're going to do."

The Richmond Chapter of the Red Cross is helping the family, putting them up in a local hotel until they can make other arrangements.