MONETA, Va. – Update:
Three firefighters return home after battling a large Moneta home fire.
But four rescued residents are still recovering in the hospital.
Franklin County Public Safety William “Billy” Ferguson said they originally reported five citizens and three firefighters went to the hospital. But at a press conference Monday morning they said they miscounted.
The two elderly homeowners are recovering in a hospital in Roanoke.
During the fire rescue, two at home-caregivers jumped from the 12-foot high deck.
One caretaker is now recovering in Wake Forest University and the other is at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Scruggs Fire Chief Dempsey Moore said there were several explosion-like sounds which was a propane gas tank venting during the heat.
But, he said it is not the cause of the fire.
Moore said the rescue efforts were challenging because the two caretakers ran toward the deck with the elderly couple in wheelchairs. The elevation required the use of ladders in the rescue efforts.
“The fire was just so bad so you know fear takes over,” Moore said. “If you remember 9/11 people were jumping from 90 stories. When fear takes over you are going to do whatever it takes.”
Moore said he was one of the firefighters who got hurt when trying to tackle the fire.
But he said the team effort
“It’s sad it takes something like this to pull together,” he said. “But that’s what this did. It showed what we can do as a team.”
Moore said the residents heard the smoke detectors go off and it’s one of the key tools that helped save their lives.
Five citizens and three firefighters are in the hospital following a large house fire in Moneta, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
Crews responded to the fire in the Southern Key area of Key West Street on Saturday at about 11:29 p.m. Firefighters were told that there were people trapped inside the house at the time of the fire.
Firefighters arrived at the scene to find a large house completely engulfed in flames with four people trapped on the back deck, which was about 12 feet off of the ground.
According to authorities, Franklin County Volunteer and Career Fire/EMS were able to rescue three people from the deck, while one jumped from the deck during the rescue.
A total of eight people, including five residents and three firefighters, were transported to local hospitals, with one eventually being transferred to Wake-Forest University in Winston Salem, NC.
No word yet on the extent of their injuries.
Scruggs Volunteer Fire Chief Dempsey Moore said the three firefighters come from Scruggs and Burnt Chimney Volunteer Fire Departments.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Franklin County Fire Marshal’s Office are continuing to investigate this fire incident.