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Heroic Act: Cops Brave Fire To Evacuate Burning Home

The family could not detect fire as the smoke alarm was not working.

HARRISONBURG, Va. — The Harrisonburg Police braved an accidental fire on Dec 26 to evacuate the residents of Alleghany Avenue.

“In the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec 26, the day after Christmas, a structure fire ignited in the 500 block of Alleghany Ave,” the Harrisonburg Police posted on their Facebook page. “Neighboring residents were the first to report the flames, and it was quickly discovered that several occupants were possibly inside and unaware of the fire.”

The concerned residents of the neighborhood, who saw the flame coming out from the roof of a building, alerted the Harrisonburg Police Department.

Patrolling officers of Harrisonburg Police reached the location minutes before the firefighters from the Harrisonburg Fire Department.

Upon reaching the location, the officers braved the flames and searched the entire house for potential victims and evacuated all occupants safely. It took around 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.


In the Body-worn camera (BWC) footage, officers from the Harrisonburg Police Department can be seen braving the flames and searching the entire house for potential victims.

“Firefighters from Harrisonburg Fire Department, with assistance from Rockingham County Fire and Rescue (RCFR), brought the fire under control in 30 minutes,” reads the press release.

Rockingham County Fire and Rescue is responsible for the protection of life and property from fire.

“It was an accidental fire that originated from the chimney. No injuries were reported in the incident,” stated the press release. “Damage to the home was estimated at $60,000.”

The incident also highlighted the importance of having a working smoke alarm in every household as the family could not notice the fire because of a non-working smoke alarm.

The officers from the fire department took this opportunity to point out the importance of working smoke alarms to the citizens.

In the fire safety norms posted on its Facebook page, the department advised all residents to get their chimneys inspected by trained professional annually as more fire incidence is reported in winter.

“In Virginia, on an average 2,333 fire incidents were reported daily in 2018,” according to data by Virginia Department of Fire and Programs. “Loss of property was estimated at over $249 million in the same year.”

Fire deaths

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the fire problem in the US is huge as every 24 seconds a fire incident is reported in the country.

“In the entire country, there were 1,318,500 fire incidents reported in 2018 with 3,655 deaths,” states a report by the US Fire Administration. “The losses were estimated at $25.6 billion.”

For heat source, smoking materials were the largest contributor to the deaths, associated with an annual average of 450 deaths from 2012 to 2014, states a Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report.

This is 20.5 percent of the estimated annual average of total residential fire deaths. Smoking materials, however, comprise only 3.0 percent of the total estimated residential fires.

(Edited by Megha Virendra Choudhary and Shirish Vishnu Shinde)

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