Virgina Fire Goes to Three Alarms

Red and yellow flames leaped high into the dark Halloween night sky as fire erupted and quickly began to consume apartments at 5304 Hunt Master Drive in the Hunters Chase Apartments around 10:38 p.m.

"Upon arrival on the scene," Lt. Pete Hypes of Chesterfield Fire and EMS said, "there was an initial report of an infant trapped inside the burning apartments. Firefighters immediately began an intense search but no child was discovered."

On the bottom floor, numerous residents who were hearing impaired resided and firefighters quickly evacuated them from the fire to safety.

Lt. Hypes said the fire was so intense and the building determined to be unstable so that after the search for the infant was conducted, command gave the order and firefighters were pulled out of the building and the offensive fire attack turned defensive.

Elevated master streams were used in the battle, said Hypes. At least sixteen apartment units were engulfed in flames.

Fire officals said 10 engines, four aerial ladder trucks, numerous medics and crews which encompassed around 50-60 firefighters who battled the inferno. Fire crews were detailed from surrounding Chesterfield stations that were not involved in the fire fight to provide station coverage.

"At the scene of the fire," Hypes continued, "people were still in Halloween costumes, some were in pajamas and robes, this indicated that they evacuated quickly, which is the exact thing they should have done."

Officals said fire crews remained on site throughout the night checking for hotspots and quickly dousing flare-ups.

An investigation has begun into the cause, Hypes said.

Officals said residents reported hearing an explosion then fire erupted.

No residents or firefighters were injured, officals said.

Damage estimates were not yet available. The apartment complex managers opened vacant apartments for some of the residents, the Red Cross assisted and some of the displaced residents went to stay with family and friends. Officals said over 50 residents were displaced from the fire.