Virginia Firefighters Battle Blaze

Chesapeake Fire Department Training Division.

On Wednesday, December 19 at 8:50 a.m., Police and Fire Dispatcher Starla Chatham began to receive multiple cellular phone calls reporting a house fire.

The callers were unfamiliar with the area and could only provide vague descriptions of the location. As the calls become frequent, and the descriptions more precise, Dispatcher Chatham realized that the callers were reporting that it was her house on fire.

She was understandably relieved of duty at that moment and was driven to the fire scene by fire department staff officer.

The house and the contents were a total loss. The fire was caused by a wood burning stove installed too close to a combustible wall. None of the children were home and no injuries were reported. A delayed alarm and balloon construction contributed to the rapid fire spread and destruction of the home.

Fellow dispatchers, police officers and firefighters with the City of Chesapeake along with other agencies are "pitching in" to provide relief to the displaced family.