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Family safe after fire tears through Richmond home: 'We could have lost our lives today'

'You can’t take life for granted... because we could have lost our lives today'
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Posted at 9:01 PM, Mar 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-21 21:03:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A family is safe, but without a place to stay after fire ripped their South Richmond home Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to a home along the 600 block of Labrook Drive in the Beaufont neighborhood just after noon.

Damarcus Crawley said he was in bed sleeping when he heard a smoke alarm and his aunt scream as she ran downstairs.

“Smoke started just seeping through the cracks of the doors from the garage," the 19-year-old said.

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Damarcus Crawley

When Richmond fire crews arrived, officials said the home's attached garage was completely engulfed in flames and heavy smoke.

Crawley said when he made it outside, what he saw looked like a scene out of a movie.

“Glass blowing, like one of the cars was sitting in front of the garage and the other car got caught on fire and the glass just shattered right in the van," Crawley said.

Crawley said everyone inside made it out of the home safely, including his two grandparents, his aunt and her two children.

“Just had to make sure my grandfather got out because he’s disabled," Crawley explained. "So he’s in a mobility chair, so it took him a little bit longer to come downstairs."

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Labrook Drive Fire

Sadly, Crawley said one of the family's dogs died in the fire, but another made it out OK.

Despite the family's loss, Crawley is grateful things were not worse.

"I definitely learned that you can’t take life for granted," Crawley said. "You can’t because we could have lost our lives today."

Fire officials said the blaze caused such extensive damage that the house has been deemed unlivable.

There has been no word on what sparked the fire.

The Red Cross is assisting the family.