Virginia Family Rescued After Police Spot Fire From Helicopter - NBC4 Washington

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Virginia Family Rescued After Police Spot Fire From Helicopter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    News4's Shomari Stone talked to a woman who has a vigilant police helicopter crew to thank for saving her and her great-grandchildren. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015)

    A local family is counting their blessings this Thanksgiving after officers in a helicopter spotted a roaring fire on their property.

    Fairfax, Virginia resident Simone Miller was asleep at home with three great-grandchildren when Fairfax County Police officers spotted the blaze.

    "Is that house on fire? It sure looks like it," an officer says on video recorded inside a helicopter about 3:30 a.m. Nov. 1.

    The video shows flames and a tower of thick smoke.

    The flight crew used a GPS device to determine the address of the fire and alerted a dispatcher, who sent a fire department crew.

    "When they knocked on the door, I was wondering, who's knocking at 3:30 in the morning?" Miller said. "The officer was already here and he said, 'You have to get out of the house.'"

    Miller woke up her great-grandkids and everyone made it out of the home safe.

    Firefighters said a light fixture under the deck attached to the home sparked the fire, and a crew was able to put it out before it spread to the house. Smoke detectors in the home were not operating, the fire department said.

    "It could have turned to tragedy, especially this time of the year," one official said.

    Miller said police and firefighters' efforts to save her family made their Thanksgiving extra special.

    "We say prayers often. But we will say a big prayer this time," she said.