Hybla Valley Building Fire Caused by Electrical Event Involving a Refrigerator

On Monday, December 5, at 7:07 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported building fire in the 2900 block of Woodlawn Trail in the Hybla Valley area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene with smoke showing from a one-story, commercial building. Fire was located in the kitchen area and quickly extinguished. Crews found minor extension of the fire into the attic space and rapidly extinguished. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

The business was closed at the time of the fire and unoccupied. A technician working on the exterior of the building saw smoke and reported the fire. There were working smoke alarms in the building.

Fire Investigators determined the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen. The cause of the fire was an electrical event involving a refrigerator.

No one was displaced because of the fire. Red Cross services were not required. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $93,750.

Get in S.T.E.P. With FCFRD and Deck the Halls With Fire Safety

It is week four of the Get in S.T.E.P. (Safety Takes Every Person) With FCFRD This Holiday Season campaign! This seven-week campaign will focus on a variety of safety themes with a strong emphasis on ensuring all residents take an active role practicing and promoting safe behavior during the holidays. 

Decorating your home for the holidays? Get in S.T.E.P. and deck the halls with fire safety!

Please watch the brief video below, from our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association, and follow the simple safety tips to help keep yourself, your family and friends safe from fire.

Where To Find FCFRD On Social Media

Want to see what your Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department firefighters and paramedics are doing on a daily basis? Please consider following us on some, or all, of our social media platforms! You will see everything from incident scenes to behind the scenes and all content in between.

Click on the icon below to go to our social media channel for that platform:

thumbnail (2)     thumbnail     thumbnail_large

thumbnail-1    thumbnail (1)         thumbnailnextdoor-icon-50

Get in S.T.E.P. and Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning!

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.  Get in S.T.E.P. (Safety Takes Every Person) With FCFRD This Holiday Season and learn more about CO and how to protect you and your loved ones. 

CO combines with hemoglobin in our blood and robs the blood of the oxygen our body needs. Early symptoms of exposure are similar to the flu and include headache, fatigue, nausea, and confused thinking (so victims cannot think clearly enough to get assistance). Without treatment, the victim will lose consciousness, and if no help is given will lose their life.

CO is produced by combustion. Common causes are:

  • Defective gas or oil furnaces and water heaters
  • Cracked chimney flues
  • Indoor use of charcoal grills
  • Use of a gas oven or range to warm a room
  • Running a car in an enclosed area such as a garage
  • Running of a portable generator inside, or too close to, the home
  • Closing the fireplace damper before the fire is completely out

CO poisoning is preventable. Actions you should take to protect your family are:

  • Each year you should have a qualified technician inspect your gas furnace and appliances.
  • Never allow your car to run in an enclosed area, especially if it is a garage attached to your house.
  • Make sure your fireplace is in good repair and do not close the damper before the fire is out.
  • Never use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage or less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
  • Install CO alarms to give your family a warning if CO is building up in your house.

CO alarms should be located on every floor and mounted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the alarm goes off, everyone should get out of the house at once and call the fire department by dialing 911 from a neighbor’s house. Do not ventilate your house by opening doors and windows. When the fire department personnel arrive, they will obtain CO readings in different areas of your home to determine the source of the CO.

Another very important point to remember is that you still need a working smoke alarm in every bedroom and on every level of your home!

Carbon monoxide (CO) Poisoning Fact Sheet – Select a Language:

Co Alarms

Get in S.T.E.P. and Make Sure to Fry The Turkey And NOT Your House

Using a Turkey Fryer this year to cook your Thanksgiving Dinner?  Get in S.T.E.P. (Safety Takes Every Person) With FCFRD This Holiday Season and make sure you fry the turkey and NOT your home!

If you must fry your turkey, please gobble up these tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Use turkey fryers outside only and away from your home.
  • Never use a turkey fryer in a garage or on a porch.
  • Completely thaw and dry turkey before cooking
  • Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer.
  • If oil begins to smoke, immediately turn gas supply OFF.
  • Never leave the turkey fryer unattended.

Get in S.T.E.P. With a Recipe for Thanksgiving Success!

It is week two of the Get in S.T.E.P. (Safety Takes Every Person) With FCFRD This Holiday Season campaign! This seven-week campaign will focus on a variety of safety themes with a strong emphasis on ensuring all residents take an active role practicing and promoting safe behavior during the holidays. 

Did you know Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires? The firefighters and paramedics of your Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department want you to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Please help us to help you prevent an unexpected visit to your home from our firefighters on Thanksgiving Day!

Please take a moment to review the below Cooking And Kitchen Safety Tips so that you can come up with a recipe for Thanksgiving success!

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

Hoja de consejos para cocinar

Make sure the smoke alarms in your home are working. Test them by pushing the test button. Also make sure you have a home fire escape plan in case of fire.

Accessible information at: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/cooking.html

STEP Into Safety This Holiday Season and Can Your Fireplace/Fire Pit Ashes!

Celebrating the upcoming holiday season with a fire in your fireplace or outside in your fire pit? Please make sure you do so safely! While a joyous time of year, it is also a time that we traditionally experience home fires that are caused by improperly discarded fireplace/fire pit ashes.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind when handling fireplace/fire pit ashes. Following a few simple safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe this holiday season.

  • Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.
  • Do not place ash containers on decks, porches, or in garages.
  • Put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid.
  • Pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool.
  • Keep your can OUTSIDE the home, away from your fireplace or stove and anything combustible.
  • Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace, fire pit or wood stove.
  • Ashes can stay hot for several days. Follow the above steps even when you wait several days to remove the ashes from the fireplace/fire pit.

Town of Herndon House Fire Displaces Eight

On Wednesday, November 9, at approximately 1:33 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue Department, and the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 800 block of Winterhaven Place in the Town of Herndon.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single-family home with fire showing from the garage, and extending into the attic. Crews worked quickly to contain, and extinguish, the fire. One cat was rescued and returned to the owners. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported.

Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. One occupant noticed the computer router was not working and asked another occupant to reset the router in the garage. That occupant proceeded to the garage, discovered the fire, closed the door between garage and home, and alerted all occupants. All safely evacuated the house. Smoke alarms were present but did not activate due to the location of the fire.

Fire Investigators determined the fire was accidental in nature and started in the garage. The cause of the fire was electrical in nature.

Eight occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $298,000.

Turning Up the Heat? Get in S.T.E.P. and Use Space Heaters Safely!

This week, FCFRD is highlighting heating safety as part of the “Get in S.T.E.P. (Safety Takes Every Person) With FCFRD This Holiday Season”! With cooler days and evenings slowly becoming the norm, many residents will be turning on the space heater or firing up the fire place/wood stove. If you will be using space heaters, please make sure you are doing so safely.

According to our friends at the United States Fire Administration, heating is the second leading cause of home fires.

Protect your family: if you are heating your home tonight, tomorrow and throughout the winter with a space heater, please take a moment to review the video below.

There are also more, and accessible, tips on this topic from the U.S. Fire Administration here: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/heating.html
La calefacción y la seguridad contra incendios: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/heating-fire-safety-handout-spanish.pdf