Fire Marshal: Neighbors alert man in burning Bristol, Va. home, help him escape without injuries


BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – A Bristol, Virginia man has his neighbors to thank for his safety after his home caught fire early Thursday morning.

According to Bristol Virginia Fire Marshal Eric Blevins, fire crews were first alerted to a fire in the 1000 block of Vermont Avenue around 5 a.m.

Blevins told News Channel 11 they were told about the fire by neighbors, who helped the man in the home escape.

The neighbors told firefighters they had left their home around 4:45 a.m. to go to the convenience store and noticed it was hazy in the area and smelled of smoke. However, they did not know for certain where it was coming from or if it was a dangerous fire.

Blevins said when the neighbors returned about 15 minutes later, they could see the fire and smoke coming from the attic area of the home.

The neighbors proceeded to knock on the door of the house and wake up the occupant, according to Blevins.

The man was assisted out of the home and to his vehicle by the neighbors while they called the fire department.

They also offered the man a place to get out of the cold while temporary living conditions are being arranged, according to Blevins.

Blevins said it was lucky that the neighbors returned when they did because the smoke from the fire could have quickly gotten out of hand and become very dangerous.

No one was injured at the scene.

Bristol Virginia City Manager Randall Eads told News Channel 11 that the home is a total loss, but Blevins said that decision would be up to an insurance adjuster who may deem it reparable.

Crews have cleared the scene as of 11 a.m.

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