Smoking In Bed Cause Of Reston Townhouse Fire

On Wednesday, January 22 at approximately 11:34 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported townhouse fire in the 2300 block of Antiqua Court in the Reston section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene of a two-story townhouse with smoke evident from the front and roof of the home. Crews quickly located a fire on the second floor and extinguished.  There were no firefighter injuries reported. One occupant was transported to an area hospital for a check-up.

Two occupants were home at the time of the fire. One occupant noticed a fire on the bed in the bedroom. She then alerted the other occupant who was asleep in a nearby bedroom. Smoke alarms were present and sounded after the occupants exited the home.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on a bed. The cause of the fire is smoking while in bed.

Two occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $18,750.

Improper Disposal Of Wood Stove Ashes Cause Fairfax Station House Fire

On Wednesday, January 21 at approximately 5:39 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported fire in the 8300 block of Argent Circle in the Fairfax Station area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single-family home with smoke showing from the rear of the house. Crews worked quickly to extinguish the bulk of the fire. Extensive overhaul and checks for extension throughout the home and attic were required. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.

Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. One adult occupant was alerted to the fire by smoke alarms sounding. She then noticed fire on the rear deck and alerted her family. All occupants safely evacuated prior to fire department arrival. Occupants immediately called 9-1-1.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the rear deck. The cause of the fire was the improper disposal of ashes from a wood stove.

Four occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $112,500.

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

  • 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.
  • Keep the can a safe distance from the home and ideally on a non-combustible surface.
  • Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace 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.

CRR Week: Working Smoke Alarms – Don’t Stay Home Without Them!

What better way to observe Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Week than to test your smoke alarms! One of the Five E’s for the CRR process is Engineering. Smoke alarms fall under that. #FCFRD has responded to several fires recently in which there were no working smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms increase your chance of surviving a home fire.

While checking your smoke alarms to ensure they are working, please also check the date to determine how old your smoke alarms are.

Did you know that smoke alarms have a retirement date? They do and if your smoke alarms are ten years of age or older they need to be replaced. Go here to learn more: Check The Date When Checking Your Smoke Alarms!

Residents are also reminded of the importance of having working smoke alarms on every level of your home, in every bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. Fairfax County residents can get FREE battery-powered smoke alarms by contacting their local Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department fire station, by e-mailing us at, or on-line at:

Please note that FCFRD personnel are not able to repair or replace hard-wired smoke alarms. A certified electrician will be needed for hard-wired smoke alarms.

Working Smoke Alarms – Don’t Stay Home Without Them!




CRR Week: Life Safety Education

It’s the second day of Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Week. Today we would like to introduce you to our Life Safety Education Section. Life Safety Education is a cornerstone of CRR.

Life Safety Education strives to ensure the safety of the communities it serves through educational programs and community outreach. With a focus on the at-risk population, life safety educators go out into the community daily to assist in making a safer and healthier community. Programs offered through Life Safety Education include,
Every Step of the Way, Juvenile Firesetters, Project Safe, parent and caregiver education classes, and safety for teens presentations. Additionally, the older adult population is taught about fire and life safety topics pertinent to their stage in life, including injury from falls. The office also runs the department’s File of Life™ program which allows residents to prominently display medical information to emergency personnel.

For more information on FCFRD’s life safety programs, please email or call (703) 246-3801.

Celebrating Community Risk Reduction Week

Today marks the beginning of Community Risk Reduction (CRR) Week. If you aren’t familiar with the term, Vision 20/20, the nationally recognized authority on Community Risk Reduction, defines CRR as, “a process to identify and prioritize local risks, followed by the integrated and strategic investment of resources (emergency response and prevention) to reduce their occurrence and impact.” CRR is more than installing smoke alarms and educating on the importance of properly discarding smoking materials. CRR programs require a comprehensive assessment of the community we serve and effective plans for each identified risk.


FCFRD strives to not only respond to emergencies but also act as a primary resource for risk reduction. We use CRR to identify high risk demographics and safety education topics that will most impact the safety of the community we serve. Successful CRR involves conducting a Community Risk Assessment (CRA), developing a CRR plan, implementing the plan, and evaluating the plan. A CRR plan outlines the goals, programs, and resources needed to reduce the high-priority risks in the community. FCFRD uses the 5 E’s approach for setting CRR goals and objectives. The 5 E’s are Engineering, Emergency Response, Economic Incentive, Education, and Enforcement. They help us set clear objectives, identify key resources and partnerships, and develop integrated programs in support of reducing identified risks. Stay tuned to learn more as we celebrate CRR Week.

image source: NFPA

Have Two Ways Out

It is the middle of the night and you are suddenly awakened by your smoke alarm. You notice some smoke in your bedroom. What do you do next?

The answer is easy: Get Out and Stay Out!

However, before that occurs it is important you develop, and practice, a home fire escape plan! The video below, from our partners in safety at the United States Fire Administration, will help guide you.

In addition, please go to our website and the Family Escape Plan which provides a grid and further guidance on developing a home escape plan.