Loudoun County, VA (May 5, 2021)- Several Loudoun County Sheriff’s Deputies and a civilian are being lauded for their efforts in helping residents escape a fire at a Sterling apartment building last week.
Deputy First Class Abdulah Rasooli was on patrol when he noticed smoke coming from the area of the 1200 block of Chase Heritage Circle and responded to the area. The fire was reported shortly after 10:15 a.m. on April 30. As DFC Rasooli arrived on scene, he found the third floor of the three-story apartment building with heavy fire and smoke. He immediately ran throughout all three floors to evacuate the building with the assistance of Carlos Zapata, a maintenance worker at the building. He then continued to the adjacent buildings to begin evacuating residents from every floor. One of the residents, a wheelchair-bound resident, needed further assistance and was carried to safety by DFC Rasooli and Deputy First Class Brandon McGhee, who had arrived on scene. A short time later, Detective Jorge Zavala, Deputy First Class Evelin Valladares, Deputy First Class Joe Rosado, Deputy First Class Elvir Hozanovic, and Deputy Kelsey Long arrived on scene and helped evacuate the remainder of the residents from the buildings. Approximately 30-40 residents were evacuated from the apartments.
“The awareness and quick actions of our deputies and Mr. Zapata, along with the efforts of Loudoun County Fire and Rescue crews likely saved lives and further damage last week,” said Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. “We know this fire is devastating to the families who lost their homes last Friday. Thankfully, there were only minor injuries,” Sheriff Chapman added.
Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System (LC-CFRS) crews arrived within minutes as the fire was rapidly expanding to the roof. After confirming all residents were out of the building, LC-CFRS fire and rescue crews knocked the bulk of the fire down with an interior fire attack and the ladder truck’s master stream. According to LC-CFRS, 56 occupants were displaced from 20 apartments. The American Red Cross is aiding the displaced residents.
Three of the responding LCSO deputies and a resident were all treated at a local hospital for minor smoke inhalation and have since been released.