Woman Shares Hilarious Video of House Fire, Possibly Figures out Who Set It

A house fire flared up in Norfolk, Virginia on Nov. 27, and a citizen journalist named Rhoda Young caught the whole thing on Facebook Live.

Young turned on the live streaming app as she approached the fire, and immediately set about reporting and investigating as if it were her job. Her unconventional methods and good-Samaritan approachability ultimately lead to Young identifying an arson suspect.

Rhoda Young's fluctuation between officious, technical language and blunt, relatable reactions to the fire is probably what made this video a viral sensation. As of publication, the video has nearly 650,000 views on YouTube.

In the video, Young snoops around every angle of the scene. She approaches several firefighters, but they seem to brush her off pretty quickly. At one point she even gets too close to a man with a walkie-talkie, trying to hear what he's talking about. When he sees her listening, she hurries away and says "I got caught," smiling.

Still, it's Young in her video who identifies the owner of the house on fire, sitting on a lawn across the street drinking beer — "red, blue and white ribbon beer," as she calls it innocently. She picks up on the contradictions in his story and notices that his hair and pants are burned. This conflicts with his account of being out at the store when the fire started.

Young approaches the firefighters again, telling them she knows who started the fire. It takes several approaches for them to listen to her.


After the homeowner is arrested, Young concludes her broadcast with a message for the firefighters who dismissed her.

"'I did the best job I could do, and if the fire marshal can at least say: 'Thank you, Rhoda Young, for solving this crime and making our job easier,' it would be truly appreciated."