HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - Thirteen people were displaced after a fire ripped through an apartment building in Hampton early Wednesday morning.
Capt. Jeff Pereira with the Hampton Fire Division said around 12:30 a.m. crews were on scene at the Kings Street Commons Apartments located on Salisbury Way near the 800 block of King Street.
When firefighters arrived on scene they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the first and second floor of the building and spread to the attic and roof.
Pereira said crews were forced to attack the fire from above because the flames reached 20 feet.
The building housed eight apartments, six of which have been damaged by fire or water. As a result, nine adults and four children have been displaced.
One resident had to be pulled from the second floor by a ladder, Pereira said.
No one was injured in the fire and investigators are working to determine a cause at this time.
The American Red Cross is assisting those displaced.
"I lost everything. I was out here and it was cold. I just watched everything I worked hard for burn," Ruthshana Williams said.
If it weren't for a few brave neighbors she could have lost much more.
"If I would have stayed in there longer I would have been gone," said Williams.
Before firefighters arrived on the scene, several residents sprang into to action to help their neighbors escape the blaze.
"I was lying on the landing pounding on the door trying to wake people up," resident Marvin Scott said. "The smoke got so bad we came back down the steps and tried to go behind the building."
"At first I was scared at the moment. My adrenaline was pumping," resident Antoine Purvis said. "I was nervous, but my main thing was to move as quick as I can."
Scott and another man helped a woman trapped on the second floor. In a situation that very well could have taken their lives both men say they would do it again.
"I thank God I was able to get them out and help somebody else. I'm glad nobody died tonight," Scott said.
Scott told WAVY.com he is also thankful that Williams and her son will live to see another day.
"I thank everybody that helped get them out safely," Williams' mother Sharlene Williams said. "We are just so grateful right now, because as you can see it could have been worse."
The apartment management is working to find long-term housing for the displaced residents.
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