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City grants burn permit. Now, neighbors are fired up.

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Posted at 4:58 PM, Sep 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-21 18:26:46-04

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. -- People say a controlled burn in Colonial Heights has damaged their homes and cars, covering everything in ash.

While city leaders are calling it an "unfortunate incident", some homeowners are threatening to sue.

"You're talking maybe a football field away. We were scared it was going to come this way," Roy Chini Jr, a concerned Colonial Heights resident, said.

Many in the Briar Cliff neighborhood were unaware that a contractor had a city permit for a controlled burn.

"My wife went into the sunroom first of all and there, all of a sudden, I hear her saying 'fire, fire fire!'" Chini Jr. said.

By Monday morning, Colonial Heights 911 Emergency Communications had logged about 100 calls about the fire and the ash it left behind.

From trash cans being covered to canopies with burn marks, Briar Cliff had a dusting of ash.

However, the biggest concerns came down to people's cars.

"Hot embers that landed on the vehicles that burnt through the clear coat on my vehicle," Jim Long, another concerned neighbor, said.

Neighbors were also upset that they hadn't been informed about the controlled burn beforehand.

"The city knew about it, the people who set fire obviously knew about it and there was ample time to get a postcard, a letter, a phone call, a reverse 911, nothing," Eddie Adams, a frustrated resident, said.

CBS6 reached out to the company that requested the burn permit but has not heard back at this time.

Colonial Heights shared a statement online saying that the burn permit was properly issued and that weather conditions on Friday night caused the unfortunate effects. They encouraged homeowners to contact their insurance companies.