Local firefighter pulls 2 children out of burning home; two adults, another child hospitalized

VIRGINIA BEACH — A local firefighter and some neighbors rescued a family of five after their mobile home caught fire Tuesday morning.

It happened shortly before 2 a.m., said Art Kohn Jr., spokesman for the Virginia Beach Fire Department.

Crews were dispatched to the County View Mobile Home Park near the intersection of Holland Drive and Euclid Road.

There, crews encountered heavy “heavy smoke and flames coming from a mobile home on Spartan Street,” Kohn said.

“With the help of neighbors, two adults and one 7-year-old girl were already outside the burning trailer but told firefighters that two children were still inside,” Kohn said. “Despite the intense heat, smoke and flames, a firefighter immediately entered the home and located the children. He found a 2-year-old girl and passed her through an open window to fellow firefighters.”

That firefighter then found a second child, a 5-year-old boy, and passed him through the same opening to firefighters outside.

“At that point the fire and heat had become so intense, that the firefighter had to dive out the window to save himself, falling a distance of about six feet,” Kohn said. “The little girl was unresponsive at the time she was placed in the ambulance and all three kids were taken to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.”

The two adults were taken to Norfolk General. Information on their condition was not immediately available.

The firefighter who entered the burning mobile home to rescue the children was not injured. Kohn did not identify him.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Kohn said investigators “believe the fire was accidental in nature.”

The mobile home was destroyed.

Kohn said there were no working smoke alarms inside the home. A dog was found live in a back bedroom.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.