Heater Causes Alexandria House Fire

Units responded to a house fire March 7, 2015, at approximately 4:50 p.m., in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 6232 Gum Street.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the first floor of the under construction two-story home upon arrival. The home was in its final stages of completion. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly brought the fire under control.  Smoke alarms did activate inside the home. Two occupants have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting the occupants. One of the occupants was evaluated at the scene but not transported. Four firefighters received non-life threatening injuries when they came in contact with electrically charged wiring while fighting the fire. They were evaluated by paramedics at the scene, but not transported.

Damage is estimated at approximately $331,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Combustible materials too close to a heater caused the fire.

Alternate Heating Source Safety Tips

  •  Keep at least three feet of clearance between your alternate heat source and anything combustible.
  • Never leave a heater on when you are not in the room or when you go to sleep, and never leave children or pets unattended near heating sources.
  • Only use heaters that have been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features, such as automatic shut-offs. It is important to install and use heaters according to manufacturer’s recommendations.