VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Four people need a place to stay after a fire broke out in their home on New Year's Eve.
The Virginia Beach Fire Department said the fire happened just before 10 p.m. Tuesday in the 3300 block of Alcott Road. The fire started inside the house's attached garage.
Everyone was outside by the time firefighters arrived. The homeowner burned his arm and suffered smoke inhalation trying to put out the fire himself. He was treated at the scene by EMS and refused to be taken to the hospital.
On Wednesday, the homeowner, Matt Barnes stood in the backyard of his family’s home as he sorted through charred memories.
Barnes said he didn’t know where to start in the pile of belongings that were removed from the garage after the fire.
It’s not the New Year’s day he had in mind. The night before, the family had friends over as they prepared to ring in 2020.
“We were getting ready to go to Town Center, we had some friends over, and we were just eating some BBQ and plans got changed,” said Barnes.
Barnes discovered the home was on fire.
“I just smelled smoke and opened the garage door and boom, it was blazing already,” said Barnes.
“I tried to grab the hose and it was just too hot, got burned up pretty good.”
Barnes rushed to get his family out safely. Then, firefighters put out the flames, preventing them from spreading to the rest of the home.
“It was traumatic, I think we were all in shock,” said Barnes. “It just happened so quick.”
Barnes and his family are starting the new year without a home, it was condemned.
He said they’re temporarily staying with family members nearby.
“The bright side is, nobody got hurt and I don’t know, we’ll see. Maybe it happened for a reason,” Barnes said. “It’s gotta be all up from here, right?”
The fire was contained to the garage and fully extinguished by 11:30 p.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.