‘It was chaotic:’ Neighbors deal with damage after East Ocean View house fire

'It was chaotic:' Neighbors deal with damage after East Ocean View house fire

NORFOLK, Va. — No one is injured, but property was damaged in a two-alarm fire in East Ocean View in Norfolk Sunday afternoon, according to Norfolk Fire-Rescue.

One home, Norfolk Fire-Rescue reports, is a total loss.

“They don’t have a home, and that’s the saddest part,” neighbor Pamela Brezina told News 3 hours after the fire.


East Ocean View house fire

Neighbors said a good Samaritan realized someone was in the burning home and stepped in to help before the home was completely destroyed.

“They’re okay, thank God,” said Pamela.

Pamela said she rushed to the area when she heard her neighbor’s home was on fire and her home across the street was beginning to melt.

“We had to come and try and rescue our pets. [The firefighters] had to bust down our door maybe because they weren’t sure if we were home or not,” said Pamela.

Monday, the day after the blaze, News 3 checked in with Pamela’s husband Don Brezina. He said the pets and the people on the street were all physically okay, but everyone was still processing the scene.

“It was chaotic and a lot going on. A lot of firefighters,” said neighbor Don Brezina. “There were a bunch of firefighters standing over here resting and some more over here putting water on.”

5 houses impacted by large fire in East Ocean View

“We don’t experience this very often, a fire this catastrophic. We’re pretty fortunate in the city of Norfolk that our crews arrive pretty quickly,” said Glen Williams, battalion chief, public information officer for Norfolk Fire-Rescue.

Firefighters said they arrived on scene roughly three minutes after they got the call.

“When they got here it was so fully involved it was more about containing this incident and protecting all the other homes,” said Williams.

Neighbors heard some explosions, but Williams explained, at this point, they could be anything.

“You never know what type of contents people have in their homes,” said Williams. “I can’t tell you exactly what those explosions were, whether they were propane tanks from gas grills or something else.”

Firefighters said they worked against the wind. The windy circumstances and radiant heat impacted multiple neighboring homes, including the Brezina’s.


Kim Reed

“The vinyl siding along the front is all melted. We have a window up here that’s cracked,” Don showed News 3 some of the damage.

Firefighters said, luckily, most of the surrounding damage is cosmetic. But it takes a lot of effort to pick up the pieces.

That’s true, homeowners said, as they’re now dealing with insurance.


5 houses impacted by East Ocean View fire

4:41 PM, Sep 17, 2023

News 3 reached out to insurance agent Erik Fink to find out what you should know if you find yourself in a similar situation.

“Your insurance is going to take care of your property,” said Fink, Virginia-based insurance agent, owner of Fink & Associates Insurance Agency. “That’s what you have a policy for. And then the insurance company will decide if they want to go against a neighbor’s insurance company to get themselves reimbursed.”

Fink said a lot of things will come at you in a major disaster like this, but you can prepare.

East Ocean View house fire

EHOURL staff

East Ocean View house fire

“Make sure you have a deductible you can afford,” said Fink. “Put that money aside. And make sure you catalog. Have a good catalog, in case something happens, of what you’ve got.”

Neighbors on scene said the goal now is to come together and help.

Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire.

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