One killed, another injured in Petersburg apartment fire

Posted at 6:28 AM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 12:10:11-05

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Petersburg officials have confirmed that an early morning Tuesday fire at an apartment complex was deadly. Authorities are not yet releasing the identities of the victims.

Petersburg Fire tells CBS 6 they were first alerted to the fire on the 3100 block of Pinetree Drive at the Pinetree Apartments at 3:50 a.m. Crews arrived on the scene within 8 minutes.

Interim Fire Chief Chris Magann said investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen of an apartment on the lower floor.

Four people total lived in that bottom floor apartment, he said.

One person was rushed to VCU Medical Center in critical condition and another person was killed.

The identity and age of the victims was not released, but Chief Magann said they are related.

The two other occupants were not hurt and are staying with relatives.

Neighbors said a mother attempted to go back into the burning apartment to rescue her child.

Good Samaritans ran door to door trying to wake up families.

Herbert Brown was evacuated from his nearby apartment and joined his neighbors outside in the cold to watch the fire response.

"The flames were shooting 20 feet above the top of the building. It was out the front window. It was pretty big," he recalled.

One Petersburg police officer was injured in the response as well. Officials tell CBS 6 it is believed he suffered from smoke inhalation.

The fire is still under investigation but Petersburg Fire said they believe the cause was accidental.

The Red Cross said they are helping 7 displaced families.

The original article is as follows:

A massive fire tore through a Petersburg complex early Tuesday morning and neighbors told CBS 6 that a mother and her baby were inside.
The initial calls came in around 4 a.m. in the 3100 block of Pinetree Drive at the Pinetree Apartments.

Dozens of firefighters from both Petersburg and neighboring Colonial Heights worked to put out the flames.

Residents said neighbors pounded on doors to wake them up and alert them to the flames.

"I heard banging and neighbors told me the building was on fire. So I put some clothes on and got out," Herbert Brown said.

He said the apartments on the other side of the complex were fully engulfed when he went outside.

Multiple people are displaced and residents were told they aren’t allowed back in their apartments because of structural concerns.

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