RESTON, Va. - Two people were hospitalized after their townhouse in Reston went up in flames Tuesday morning.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but firefighters say the flames were intense when they arrived on Purple Sage Court.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Captain Walter Johnson has been on the job for nearly three decades and he said no rescue is the same for him.
“The call came in from the person who was trapped,” he said.
Johnson said the call for help came in Tuesday at around 6:30 a.m. from a man inside the burning townhouse.
“They told us there were two people trapped upstairs, so en route, we had that information,” said Johnson.
And that combined with quick thinking and swift action saved two lives. A young couple was reportedly sleeping when the fire started.
“We were able to make our entry through the front door,” Johnson recalled. “We still had a lot of fire in the living room area of the townhouse, which we had to extinguish before we could go upstairs.
“While we were extinguishing the fire, more units showed up. So a rescue crew came in, went up the stairs to the second floor and found the male victim.”
At the same time, more first responders arrived and rescued a woman stuck on the home's second floor. The level below her was filled with smoke and flames.
“By the time I came down, I saw a lot of smoke coming out of the first floor windows,” said one neighbor. “I walked around back and they were putting up a ladder breaking the upstairs window.
“You just hate to see something like this happen. You just hope they are going to be okay.”
The couple was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to survive, but several animals in the home did not.
“Unfortunately, there were two dogs and two cats that didn't survive the fire,” said Johnson. “They were out in the smoky conditions. They did find a parrot I believe in a rear bedroom that survived just because that bedroom door was closed.”
Firefighters recommend homeowners to make sure that their smoke detectors are working. Also, they also urge that you close the doors at night. They said that slows the spread of the smoke and carbon monoxide.