PORTSMOUTH, Va., (WVEC) -- Two people are dead after a house fire early Wednesday morning, Capt. Justin Arnold of the Fire Marshal's Office said.
The two victims were identified by fire officials as Sandra Bracy, 71, and Jarrod Bracy, 24.
Portsmouth Fire Rescue and Emergency Services responded to the house fire around 4:14 a.m. at 2012 Atlanta Avenue.
When fire crews arrived they discovered that the two residents were inside the home and unable to exit.
Firefighters found heavy fire coming from the two-story home's front porch area.
Crews made an attempt to reach both residents "in zero visibility and extreme heat."
"One victim was located and removed from the first floor, while the second victim was removed from a second-floor window onto a ladder," said Arnold.
Sandra Bracy and Jarrod Bracy were taken to Maryview Hospital where they were pronounced dead. Both bodies have been sent to the medical examiner for a cause of death determination.
Lolita Luckett lives in the neighborhood. She said the fire department did a good job.
"It’s so sad to see actually see them wheeling the people out and just to hear a few hours later that they both had passed," said Luckett. "[It's] disturbing. It’s been bothering me all day, so far. It could have been anybody’s family you know what I mean."
Neighbor James Bryant said Sandra was a nice lady, and she had a son who is mentally challenged.
The cause of the fire was found to be a frayed extension cord underneath combustible clothing, Arnold said. Arnold said it's taken a while to extinguish the flames because there is poor "structural integrity" to the house.
Arnold said fire crews were not able to get past the contents downstairs on the entry-level floor because there were "quite a few belongings in front."
One firefighter was treated and released on scene. Portsmouth city officials said they had the home demolished because it was a danger to the public.
Smoke alarms were not present in the home. The Portsmouth Fire Marshal's Office said smoke alarms are free to any homeowner and will be installed free of charge by fire personnel.
The fire department also provides Home Safety Surveys to discuss fire safety in and around the home to prevent fires.
Call 757-393-8689 for information regarding these fire prevention programs.
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