Officer Helps Students Out of Burning Home

By: Michael Gorsegner Email
By: Michael Gorsegner Email

February 2, 2007

A Charlottesville Police Lieutenant is being credited with helping four UVa students out of their burning home on Grady Avenue.

It all began just before 10 p.m., when a call came in for a house fire at the corner of 14th Street and Grady Avenue. Charlottesville Police Lieutenant Gary Pleasants heard the call come out and was literally sitting on that very corner. He looked up to that house and saw flames coming from a second floor bedroom.

Four female UVa students were watching television downstairs when one left the room and noticed smoke and fire coming from upstairs. Just then, Pleasants rushed in to the house and helped them out.

Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner credits Pleasants with making the situation a lot easier for firefighters. Normally, during a house fire, firefighters need to go into the building and check for people inside. Pleasants was able to tell the firefighters when they arrived that there was no one inside therefore they were able to put a deck gun on the fire and extinguish it quickly.

At this point, it appears an unattended candle is to blame for the fire. We talked to one of the residents at the home. She said they spent the day sifting through the ashes and now they are looking for a place to live.

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