December 25, 2013
Two families have been displaced following a Christmas night fire on Orangedale Avenue in Charlottesville.
Charlottesville firefighters found heavy fire coming from one side of the duplex home. They searched through heavy fire to make sure that everyone was out of both sides of the duplex, then began to fight the fire.
Six people and two dogs made it out safely of the side of the duplex where the fire started before firefighters arrived.
The American Red Cross is working with that family to find a place to stay tonight.
"Not only is it just Christmas, but the fact that no one was hurt on any day in any fire, and the fact they got in quickly is good and that they could check to make sure everyone is out safely," battalion chief Richard Jones of the Charlottesville Fire Department said.
Carmelita Wood lives in the other side of the duplex. She was eating dinner with her family when a neighbor called her.
"I was at my sister's house for dinner, and my neighbor called...[to] tell me that the house next to me was on fire. So, I came over, but by then everything was up in flames, a lot of smoke," said Wood.
"They talk about neighbors being nosy, but in cases like this, it's good to have your neighbors' phone number, because without Ms. Jordan calling Carmelita, we wouldn't have got over here as fast as we could. It's a good thing she was home and her girls were able to come...and alert her so, you know, kudos to neighbors," said Nichole Allen, Wood's niece.
Firefighters continued batting down flames hours after the fire started and want to determine how safe the scene is before allowing both families to return.
Woods is staying with her family on Christmas night. She said she appreciates the support of friends and family.
"It's wonderful. I feel blessed today."
Firefighters say they are still working on a cause, but they believe it started in the basement.
Crews with the Charlottesville Fire Department are on the scene of a house fire on Orangedale Avenue.
The fire started just after 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.
We have a crew on the scene and will continue to update this story as information comes in.
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