A child was killed and his father seriously injured in an early morning house fire in Waynesboro on Wednesday.
“It’s so sad,” said Jennifer Evans, 52, of Waynesboro, who lives across the street from the house that caught fire on Southfork Drive off Sherwood Avenue. “It just happened to fast. My heart goes out to the family.”
Waynesboro Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire with “extensive fire throughout” on a single-family home just before 4 a.m. after Evans called 911.
A couple with two boys lived in the house, Evans said. The oldest child, who is in middle school, rang her doorbell to have her get help, she said.
“The little boy was still in shock,” Evans said. “I’m standing there looking at him trying to figure out what I could do when I heard the mom hollering and screaming.”
Evans said she then walked out from her house to see what was happening and that is when she saw the fire.
“I heard the crackling and popping,” Evans said. “It was just a big blaze.”
The mother, father and oldest son escaped the house fire, but the youngest son, around 8-years-old, was still in the house, Evans said.
“The father was screaming and crying,” Evans said. “They were all in the road trying to get back in to get the baby. The house was engulfed in too much flame for them to go back in at that point and retrieve the child.”
The fire department said in a released statement that despite their best efforts in quickly containing the fire and conducting a search of the home, one person died and a second was transported to Virginia Commonwealth University Health Evans-Haynes Burn Center in Richmond with serious burns. No other injuries were reported.
“The father is in the hospital in the burn unit because he was the one that woke up the rest of the family and tried to get them out,” Evans said.
The home was a total loss, the fire department said. The city’s fire marshal is working to determine the cause of the fire and the cost of damages.
“It’s a shock to this whole cul-de-sac,” Evans said.
Neighbors are trying to raise money on GoFundMe to help the family.
“We try to help each other out when we can,” Evans said.
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.