Early-Morning Fire Displaces 13 UVa Students

January 21, 2013

An early-morning fire in Charlottesville Monday has displaced 13 University of Virginia students.

The flames started on the front porch of the apartment home on the 1200-block of Wertland Street and extended into the building.

The fire was reported at 5:11 a.m. All students managed to escape unharmed.

Charlottesville Fire Chief Charles Werner says when firefighters arrived, the entire front porch was ablaze, but crews knocked down the flames quickly.

"There was smoke damage on all of the floors, but as far as the flame impingement, the firefighters' rapid response prevented that from occurring," said Battalion Chief Rich Jones.

UVa. fourth-year student Adarsh Solanki lived on the second floor of the building. He says he ran out the back door when he realized the front porch was engulfed in flames.

"It's insane. Honestly, it's like a movie at first, and then you realize, wait a minute, this is not a movie," said Solanki. "This is actually my car literally on fire. So, it's very weird. Very jarring."

The fire damaged several vehicles parked in front of the building.

The 13 displaced students are being housed at the Red Roof Inn while they look for a permanent place to stay.

The Fire Marshal is working to determine the cause of the fire.

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