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Chesterfield firefighters find body after battling intense house fire

Posted at 9:13 AM, Apr 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-05 12:33:57-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – After battling an intense fire that was reported around 5:15 a.m. Thursday, firefighters found a person deceased inside the Chesterfield home.

Firefighters arrived to find the home fully engulfed in flames with fire shooting from the roof. Crews said they were unable to enter immediately due to the severity of fire.

Neighbors called 911 after they spotted the fire in the 14400 block of Heather Stone Drive not far from Enon Elementary School in Chester.

Kim Ritz, who lives just a few houses down, believed the fire was burning for sometime before anyone called 911.

"The whole neighborhood was a bright orange color from the flames of this house," Ritz said. "The house was already fully engulfed."

Chesterfield firefighters find body after battling intense house fire

A person was found deceased in the back of the home while firefighters were putting out hotspots.

Lt. Jason Elmore with Chesterfield Fire & EMS said investigators also believe they discovered where the fire started.

"The heaviest amount of damage is in that back bedroom," Elmore described. "It’s determined where we believe the fire started and that’s where the body was located."

The house is considered a total loss.

The deceased person has not been identified by authorities at this time. Neighbors said the victim is a man in his 50s who lived by himself. They only saw him leave his driveway and never interacted with him.

"He was a very quiet man. I knew him to say hello and wave at him, but he kept to himself and stayed in the house," Ritz remembered. "Our other neighbors said the same thing that they didn’t know much about him."

The Chesterfield Fire Marshall and Chesterfield Police Department are still investigating.

The cause of the fire has not been determined yet.  The Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.