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Two row homes damaged in Oregon Hill blaze

RICHMOND, Va. -- Three people were able to escape their home on Laurel Street after a fire erupted Tuesday morning. Multiple fire crews responded to the fire at 336 Laurel Street at around 9:30 a.m.

Fire crews were dispatched and arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the front of the red home, according to fire officials.

Three VCU students and one VCU graduate live in the red house. Three of them were home when the fire started.

Alex Le is a senior and says he was in the shower.

"Out of nowhere I heard--it sounded like someone dropped something. I didn't think much of it. Then my roommate Irvin wakes up and says 'Hey guys fire.' I jumped out of shower. I saw the water heater room on fire," Le said.

Fire crews had to call a second alarm because the fire spread to the blue home next door.

"Needed additional resources and additional people to effectively go in and monitor, check and extinguish fire at adjacent home as well," said Lt. Christopher Armstrong with the Richmond Fire Department.

No one was injured. But fire crews say a cat from the blue home didn't make it.

"Everyone who lived there is accounted for. Everyone safely exited or either was not at home at the time of the fire," Lt. Armstrong said.

Le says he saw flames coming from the basement.

"The boiler room is like a closet and basically we were seeing a lot of fire coming out of the closet."

He and his roommates grabbed what they could, and got out.

"I was scared. I didn't want it to spread throughout the whole house. I didn't think something like this could ever happen," Le said.

The exact cause of the fire is under investigation.
Right now officials cant say if both homes are a complete loss.

"All my stuff. I don't know what to do," said Le.

Le says the smoke detectors in the home all went off. Le and his roommates are hoping they can stay with family or friends since its likely they wont be able to come back home tonight.

This part of Laurel Street in Oregon Hill is located just blocks away from VCU, near St. Andrew's Episcopal Church and is a one-way street that was closed as fire crews responded.