‘A tragedy. It’s a tragedy to me’: Neighbors shocked, saddened after deadly Roanoke house fire

ROANOKE, Va. – The stench of smoke lingered outside a Roanoke home that burst into flames early Wednesday morning.

Fred Donaher woke up to the sound of sirens and flashing lights.

“It was alarming. I thought, ‘Could this have a domino effect?’ Because these are old houses here in Old Southwest. They could go up like a Christmas tree in no time flat. It’s really scary when it happens that close to home,” said Donaher.

The house on Albemarle Ave SW caught on fire just before 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Firefighters told us this afternoon that three of the four people inside made it out alive, but an update from Roanoke Fire-EMS states there were only three people involved in the incident. Crews said two of the people escaped on their own, and one person died. A dog also died in the fire.

“A tragedy. It’s a tragedy to me,” said Carl Beattie who lives nearby.

Beattie said he was worried about the school across the street.

“The smoke was just all over. It was like dense. It was so smoky out here,” said Beattie.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The three survivors and two firefighters who were injured battling the blaze are still recovering.

“I just really hope that the families are OK and my heart goes out to them,” said Donaher.

About the Authors

You can watch Lindsey during Virginia Today every weekend or as a reporter during the week!

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

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