RICHMOND -- Six people were displaced by a pair of overnight residential fires in Richmond's East End, but no injuries were reported.
Richmond fire Lt. Robbie Hagaman said the fires were reported at 1:51 a.m. at a single-story house in the 1900 block of North 23rd Street and at 4:19 a.m. at an apartment in the 1200 block of Nelson Street.
The 23rd Street house was believed to be vacant at the time of the fire, which Hagaman said caused significant damage to the rear of the structure before being brought under control in about 15 minutes.
The Nelson Street fire started in one apartment and caused minor damage to an adjoining unit. That fire was brought under control in about 10 minutes but displaced three adults and three children, and the Greater Richmond Chapter of the American Red Cross was called to provide emergency housing assistance for the six.
Hagaman said there were working smoke detectors in the apartment where the fire began, but they were of no help to the sleeping occupants because the devices' batteries had been removed.
"This incident could have ended up being a very tragic fire," said Hagaman, who reminded people to regularly check their smoke detectors and batteries.
"We're coming up on daylight savings time," he said. "If you change your clocks, check your batteries."Hagaman said both fires are under investigation.