CHESAPEAKE -- A kitchen fire in the Heron's Land Apartments left 58 people displaced Tuesday night.
Firefighters responded to the call in the 2100 block of South Military Highway around 10:15 p.m., according to Captain Scott Saunders with the Chesapeake Fire Department.
The fire had been extinguished by the building's fire sprinkler system before crews arrived on scene, but caused water damage to apartments on the first and second floors. As a result, electrical power had be shut off.
One occupant of the building suffered smoke inhalation, but refused to be transported, Saunders said. Nobody else was injured.
Heron's Land Apartments is part of the Virginia Supportive Housing program and residents are former homeless single adults. Officials say 58 of the 60 units were damaged.
Esther Robert is the director at Heron's Landing Apartments and all other Virginia Supportive Housing developments in Hampton Roads.
After hearing of last night's fire at the complex, she knew she had to act quickly.
'We've had volunteers out here, some of our property management staff on site, cleaning up water and debris left over from water damage,' Robert said.
Most of the damage was to the first and second floors of the building. Unfortunately, the first floor houses donated food that is used to feed the residents. Water from the sprinkler system destroyed it all.
'Here at the first of the month, most folks receive income, do their monthly shopping, stock up their refrigerator and freezers and so, it's really bad timing.'
The fire department is working with management to accommodate the displaced residents.
'We know they definitely can't come back tonight, but our goal is to have everybody back tomorrow night,' Robert said.