Firefighter’s home gutted by blaze; community support ‘overwhelming’

Around the South

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Firefighters are always prepared to come to the rescue of a house fire, and for one Virginia Beach firefighter, the call that came in was for his own home.  

Virginia Beach Master Firefighter Aaron Hauert was working his usual shift on Feb. 9 when he received texts and phone calls that his house was on fire 

“I got a call from my mom and she told me that my garage was on fire. I told her, ‘Look get dad, get the dog, and get out,’” Hauert said.  

Hauert said he expected the fire to be small, and that it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to put out and a new coat of paint to fix.

But when he arrived at his house and saw a street full of fire trucks, Hauert knew the damage was worse than he thought. 

The fire started in the garage, went up into the attic, and spread into the rest of the home.  

Since the fire, Hauert’s fellow firemen have stepped up for their friend by covering shifts and donating money to ease the load.  

“It’s pretty overwhelming with the amount of support we have been getting. Friends, family, neighbors, strangers, I have had a few people stop in the driveway with gift cards to Applebee’s just to help,” Hauert said.  

No one can be completely prepared for tragedies such as this one, but officials say keeping smoke alarms on and having working batteries can help.  

“I’ve learned a couple things from this. They say tragedy brings out the good in people, I used to think that OK, you have a tragedy and that makes people better, and I’ve been thinking about it, and I think a tragedy just lets other people see the good that’s already there,” Hauert said. 

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