On Wednesday, January 17, at approximately 6:12 a.m., units were initially dispatched for an odor of smoke in an apartment in the 1800 block of Wilson Lane in the Tysons Corner section of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on the scene of a three-story, garden-style apartment building and observed smoke showing from the roof. Additional units were requested and a second alarm was sounded bringing additional units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the Arlington County Fire Department to the scene. Upon further investigation, units discovered a fire in the attic of the building. Firefighters began evacuating occupants as other firefighters continued efforts to extinguish the fire.
The fire was reported by the occupant of an apartment who smelled smoke and called 9-1-1. Around the same time units first arrived on scene, a second 9-1-1 call was received from the same occupant saying she now saw smoke entering her apartment from the air vent.
There were 29 occupants in the building at the time of the fire. Due to weather conditions, a Welfare Officer was designated to assist with getting all of the displaced occupants out of the frigid temperatures and into a safe environment. A community center located directly across from the building was secured and the Welfare Officer gathered the displaced occupants in this area. Firefighters obtained winter coats and toys and distributed them to displaced adults and children.
The fire was under control within 30 minutes of the original 9-1-1 call. A total of approximately 60 firefighters were on scene. There were no reports of civilian injuries.
Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management and Red Cross personnel responded to the scene to assist with recovery support for the occupants.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the attic space above one of the apartments. The cause of the fire was the result of a rekindle in the attic space from an incident the prior evening.
Damages are estimated to be $488,239.
Today on Employee Spotlight we meet Deputy Chief Andrew Duke, Chief Training Officer at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Training Academy.
We are grateful that we receive letters from those we serve highlighting exceptional efforts by our fire and rescue personnel.
A job well done to the personnel from Fire Station 40, Fairfax Center, B-Shift for their help and compassion on a call for assistance.
Below is a letter of appreciation received at the station, along with some cookies, from an appreciative daughter.
Photo courtesy of NFPA
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. It causes more than 150 accidental fatalities each year; thousands more are treated in hospitals for CO poisoning. 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
- Closing the fireplace damper before the fire is completely out
CO accidents are 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.
- 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 on every level of your home. The CO alarm does not sense smoke or fire. Smoke alarms are needed to give your family early warning if there is a fire in your home.
Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his visionary leadership and contributions to Civil Rights. Dr. King dreamed and worked for all people to be treated fairly, equally, respectfully and to embrace diversity. He was a role model and mentor too.
Those same attributes are certainly applied to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department’s daily operations through our mission, vision, core values, and our community outreach programs.
As we go through this day, please keep the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in your thoughts.
Did you know?
Each year electrical malfunction is the leading cause of home fires. As well, approximately half of these fires involve lighting equipment or home electrical wiring.
Please take a moment to watch the video below, from our partners in safety at the United States Fire Administration, to learn more.
There are a lot of reasons to close your door. We do it to stop the spread of fire. You can do it to save your life.