One person found dead in fire at Va. Beach home

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by 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 6:54 PM

Fatal house fire

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VIRGINIA BEACH -- Firefighters found one person dead inside a home on Prince of Wales Drive Wednesday evening.

Officials have identified the victim as 67-year-old Hannah Jane Brandon. 

"The flames were just enormous. They were just bursting through the roof of the house," said
Carol Whitman, who lives next door. 

Whitman said Brandon lived alone in the home and that she kept to herself for the most part.

People in the neighborhood said emergency workers said that the fire appeared to have been set intentionally.

Whitman said when firefighters ripped off the garage door of the house, her neighbor's car was inside the garage.

"It's a sad experience, especially knowing when you see somebody you know and you've lived next door to for 15 years," shared Whitman.

John Wilkinson was driving in the area when he saw the fire. He called 9-1-1.

"One of the three of us heard some lady in there," said Wilkinson, referring to himself and 2 other people who came upon the fire as the flames began to grow. "I wish I was there a little bit earlier, you know. I lost my mother last year. You know, it wasn't anything like this, but it was a death."

"What scares me about it is how fast it went up," Kristen Mitchell said. "The houses are all built the same time frame, same construction here, and we were, you know, we were all talking earlier, like, what caused it, because if it was electrical or some kind of material, you know, it kind of brings you back to, you know, that could be my house, you know. That could have been my family."

Mitchell added, "It's very scary, and it also makes you realize that how well do you know your neighbors? Because, until tonight, I didn't even know her name."

Brandon's body has been sent to the Medical Examiner's Ofice to determine the cause of death.

The fire remains under investigation.

 

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