Passer By Saves Family of Three in Powhatan, Virginia

At 10:14 pm, on February 17th, Powhatan County Engines 1, 3; Amelia County Engine 4; Powhatan Tankers 2, 4; Amelia Tanker 4; and Rescue 2 were dispatched to a reported house fire in the 900 block of Genito West Blvd.

Before the fire was extinguished, the box was struck for a 2nd alarm bringing Powhatan County Tanker 3 and mutual aid from Chesterfield County Tanker 7 and Engine 16.

A passer by noticed the fire and stopped to wake the family. One person sleeping on the couch awoke to heavy smoke and yelled for his sleeping family upstairs and exited the house.

A 10-year-old child sleeping upstairs ran down the smoke filled stairs, receiving minor burns escaping the fire. The mother could not make it down the stairs and was forced back into a second floor room that was rapidly filling with smoke. She was forced to jump from the second floor window where her husband and the passerby broke her fall.

The three occupants were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation and the passerby refused treatment.

It is unknown if the smoke detectors went off.

The occupants stated they do not remember hearing them.

Strong winds rapidly spread the fire though out the house. When Engine 2 arrived they found the entire house fully involved and two 125 lb. propane tanks venting flames 40 feet in the air.

Being a rural area, a tanker shuttle was set up and about 15,000 gallons of water was transported to the fire from a pond about a mile away.

The fire was marked under control at 11:22 pm.

Firefighters remained on scene until 11am the next day allowing the propane tanks to burn and to extinguish hot spots after a track hoe knocked down the dwelling.