NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Two technicians with Verizon are being credited with saving three people and their pets from a burning home in Newport News earlier this month.
The fire happened on Hurley Avenue, in the Hilton area of Newport News, on the morning of March 15, a spokesperson for the city told 13News Now.
The two technicians, Chris Leonard and Nick Christian, were working in the area when they noticed the fire and acted immediately, according to a spokesperson for Verizon.
"Chris had just completed an assignment in Newport News and was about to pull out of his customer’s driveway when he noticed that, across the street, some smoke was billowing from a porch," the Verizon spokesperson wrote, who added that Leonard called Christian, who was working less than a block away, to help.
The city spokesperson said the two called 911 and worked to help the residents get out of the house.
When firefighters with the Newport News Fire Department got there, the technicians were trying to keep the fire in check with a garden hose as smoke was coming from the roof.
The firefighters went inside the home to conduct "an aggressive interior fire attack," finding a large fire behind the walls, which was followed by heavy smoke. They were able to put out the fire quickly.
No one was hurt, but three people, a cat and a dog were displaced, according to the city spokesperson.
Investigators with the Newport News Fire Marshal’s Office believe that discarded smoking materials caused the fire, which then traveled through void spaces in the walls.
The city spokesperson said firefighters and investigators praised the actions of the technicians, who believed their actions "prevented a far more serious fire and potential for injury or loss of life."
The Verizon spokesperson also praised Leonard and Christian, saying the two lived up to the company's credo of “We run to a crisis, not away.”