Firefighters hurt in porch collapse doing ‘OK’ after suspicious fire

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- Three firefighters were injured in an early morning fire at a vacant home in Petersburg. Petersburg Fire officials believe arson was the cause of the fire at the home off South Dunlop Street.

Two firefighters were injured when the front porch collapsed. A third suffered from lightheadedness and dizziness.

All three firefighters were said to be doing OK Monday afternoon.

The call for the fire came in at 4 a.m.

Fire Marshal James Reid said the front of the home was engulfed in flames. Because it was an older home, with a balloon structure, there was no fire stop between levels and the fire quickly spread up to the attic.

The Richmond Fire Department accelerant detection canine assisted fire officials in the investigation. Her job was to sniff for flammable liquids. She alerted officials to a few areas, and samples from those areas were taken to a lab to determine what was used to start the fire.

Before the fire was under control, fire crews tried to get inside the home. That's when the front porch collapsed, injuring two firefighters -- Cody Edlin and Mike Maokhamphiou.

"We just heard a pop. Before we knew it, I just saw it come down on top of me. Saw Sgt. Maokhamphiou was covered in debris and I was just laying there. I remember all my buddies dragging us out of there. We've dealt with minor stuff. Like a foot to through the floor. But I've never had a whole fixture fall on top of me like this where it actually knocked me down,” Edlin said.

Edlin was taken to the hospital to be checked out. He is alright. Maokhamphiou was treated at the scene.

Fire officials are still investigating the fire. Officials have reached out to neighbors and asked them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.

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