Video! Firefighters searching for victim in 20th Street building Tuesday dodge flashover

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Video! Firefighters searching for victim in 20th Street building Tuesday dodge flashover

After learning someone could be inside a burning building on 20th Street Tuesday, Richmond firefighters launched an aggressive search and attack on the fire, nearly getting caught in a flashover, but thankfully no one was injured, fire officials said.

The incident occurred just before 7 a.m. in an apartment of a two-story building in the 100 block of 20th Street, Battalion Chief Merlin Turner said. Firefighters received initial reports that someone was trapped inside the building, and so Captains Marc Lucero and Victor Bontempomade conducted searches amid the flames. It turned out the unit was vacant, Turner said.

During the searches, the firefighters managed to steer clear of a flashover, which occurs when all combustible surfaces and objects in a space are simultaneously heated to their ignition temperature.

The aggressive and daring approach by fire crews confounded the flames to just the one unit, and the fire was under control in about 20 minutes, Turner said.

A cause of the blaze remains under investigation, Turner added.

Lucero posted a video of the fire attack on YouTube (see below) that was captured via helmet cam.

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