Three witnesses and a fireman teamed up on Friday afternoon to save two women from a fire at a Centreville townhouse.
Two people were transported from the scene, near 6120 Hoskins Hollow Circle, with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries. Dozens of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighters were able to get the fire, which started shortly before 4 p.m., under control in about 20 minutes, according to emergency personnel.
Said Benayed, a Fairfax County employee, was working outside when he smelled smoke. He raced over to a townhouse, where he saw fire from the back. Concerned that there might be someone inside the house, he busted the door open, but no one was there. Seeing that the fire had spread, he busted open the door to an adjoining townhouse.
Inside were two women. One was elderly, situated in what appeared to be a hospital chair, and the other, younger, was asleep next to her, Benayad said.
“Entire half of the house on fire and they sleep. They have no idea,” said Benayad.
Ashley Osterday, 32, a neighbor, and an unidentified male neighbor had run inside by that point to assist.
It was around that time that Captain William Moreland of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, an off-duty public information officer, arrived at the scene. Moreland had spotted the fire as he drove from a nearby road and called in the coordinates to radio dispatch.
After arriving at the scene, he obtained the address to give to the dispatch units. He immediately suited up, entered the house and helped the Good Samaritans take the woman out.
There was also a dog in the house, which they were able to save. Osterday took the Blue Beagle to her house, where it is resting safe and sound.
All the people inside received medical attention. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the incident.
Story updated at 7:50 p.m. from original post.
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