During an emotional news conference, Richmond Police Chief Will Smith said police needed “to force our way to make a clear path for the fire department” to reach the scene of the blaze.

Firefighters were blocked over the weekend from trying to reach a burning house with a child inside, an emotional Virginia police chief said during a Sunday news conference.

Richmond Police Chief Will Smith said rioters had intentionally started a fire in “an occupied building on Broad Street” early Sunday. Officers were called in because fire apparatus were being prevented from reaching the scene.