Smoking Materials Cause Townhouse Fire

Units responded to a townhouse fire, Monday, April 6, 2015, at approximately 1:55 a.m., in the Merrifield area of Fairfax County. The single-family townhouse is located at 3058 Winter Pine Court.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the end unit, three-story townhouse upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes. Smoke alarms activated providing early warning for the occupants. Five occupants have been displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined by the occupants. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $$259,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Improper disposal of smoking materials caused the fire.

Improper Disposal of Smoking Materials Safety Tips

  •  Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed.
  • Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.