3 People Hurt, 3 Pets Killed in Burke Fire

A woman jumped out of a window, and a cat and two dogs were killed

Two men were airlifted and a woman was forced to jump out of a second-story window after a massive fire tore through a townhome in Burke, Virginia, Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the townhome on the 10700 block of Spring Oak Court at 6:45 a.m. When they arrived at the scene, they had to rescue two men who were later flown to the hospital with burns. 

“I still can’t believe that this is my house,” said Jessie McInerney, who lives in the home with her brother, her boyfriend and another woman. They are all in their 20s.

McInerney, who said she has lived at the home since she was 4 years old, was at work when the flames moved through.

Angela John and her son, Griffith, live in the adjoining townhome and said everything happened quickly. 

“The screams were horrible. Young kids screaming and trying to get out,” Angela John told News4. “But I think it just started so fast and it was like instantaneous, there was no time to do anything.” 

"I was just getting up for school," Griffith John said. "I was getting out of bed, and I heard the pop."

Angela John added the victims had just seconds to get out. Video from the scene showed flames shooting from the first floor of the home while plumes of black smoke billowed into the air.

"I saw them trying to get the glass and everything out, and I saw the flames going up," she said. 

One woman inside the burning home escaped by jumping out of a second-story window, fire officials say. She was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The two men have non-life-threatening injuries. 

Sadly, a pet cat and two dogs died in the fire.

“I got here and saw the house, and I think I knew that the pets didn’t make it, but I was hoping that they would. The cat got out of the house, but didn’t make it. And then the dogs were found in my brother’s room,” Jessica McInerney said.

More than 50 Fairfax County and Fairfax City firefighters responded to the fire during a day of record-breaking heat.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

A GoFundMe has been established to help the family. You can visit that donation page here.

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