Home condemned after massive fire in Newport News

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 20 at 2:17 PM

NEWPORT NEWS -- A couple people had minor injuries Monday night after they attempted to make sure no one was inside a burning home in Menchville.

Emergency crews got to the 100 block of Monarch Drive shortly after 7 p.m., according to Battalion Chief Steve Pincus with the Newport News Fire Department. 

Heavy smoke and fire were billowing from the house when they arrived.

"I just wanted to make sure she wasn't still in there," explained Sonny Baum, one of the people who ran towards the home, afraid one of its owners was trapped inside. "When I got to the front, the windows were starting to fall out, and when I kicked in the front door, all it was was just a big, black smoke."

Baum told 13News Now he couldn't see 3 feet in front of him.

While he and others, including his son focused on the house, his wife, Jennifer, dialed 911.

She also called the other homeowner and got a hold of him. He told her his wife was not inside the house.

"I'm very proud of both of 'em," said Jennifer Baum, referring to her husband and son. "I wouldn't say enter a house ever that's burning, but I'm proud that they would go in and try to save a life of somebody we really care about.

The house was condemned.

The American Red Cross is helping the husband and wife who lived there for more than 16 years.

"They're wonderful people, and this is just horrible," said Sonny Baum. "I'm just glad they're okay. I mean, we've known them forever, and I just couldn't imagine. It was the worst feeling in the world, not knowing if she was five foot in front of me or not."

Investigators said Tuesday the fire was ruled accidental and was caused by an electrical problem.  .

 

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