Crews Battling Lynchburg House Fire

Lynchburg, VA - There were some tense moments Sunday morning in one Lynchburg neighborhood when a house next to Randolph College caught fire.

Fortunately, firefighters were able to rescue a very special family member -- a cat that was trapped inside. It was treated on scene for smoke inhalation and reunited with its owner.

Sunday morning, neighbors on North Princeton Circle saw the thick black smoke, the scene looked all too familiar. It wasn't far from the fire that killed two Liberty University students last April.

Around 9:30 a.m. Tracie Brookman woke-up to a man knocking on her door, asking if she knew the house a few doors down was on fire. She checked it out and heard a popping noise while flames tore through the home's windows.

"It sounded like small explosions," she recalled.

While firefighters lugged in water hoses to extinguish the blaze, the homeowner watched in disbelief.

"He was just sitting on the Randolph College wall," said Brookman. "He wasn't really talking to anybody and watching the flames."

What neighbors didn't know is his pet cat was trapped inside. But thanks to firefighters and a little oxygen, the owner and his cat were reunited.

"I didn't even know he had an animal. So it's nice to know the animal lived," said Brookman.

Fire crews say food left on the stove sparked the fire. The home, although not a total loss, is badly damaged. The owner, torn apart too.

"If I could put him up, I would," said Kelvin Patterson, another neighbor. "That's how good of a person he is."

"You never know what would have happened if the flames had gotten any further," Brookman worried. "It could have gone a lot worse."

It's a scene that's become all too familiar for her and her husband.

"Back in the apartments behind the house, there was a fire last year. And a couple people passed away from it," Brian Brookman remembered.


Lynchburg, VA - A fire badly damaged a house on the 100 block of North Princeton Circle Saturday morning.

Neighbors called 9-1-1 around 9:30 a.m. Nearly two dozen fire crews responded.

Fire officials say the blaze started on a stove in the kitchen. A cat was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation. No one was injured.