Grill Causes Lorton Apartment Fire, Displaces Five

Units responded to a garden apartment fire, Friday, June 5, 2015, at approximately 4:15 p.m., in the Lorton area of Fairfax County. The apartment is located at 7501 Woodside Lane.

Firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from a third floor balcony of the three-story apartment upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes. Additionally, the fire extended into the ceiling of the apartment below. The occupants were not home when the fire broke out. Smoke alarms were inoperative in the apartment. A neighbor was alerted to the fire and called 911. Three adults and two children have been displaced from both apartment units. Red Cross is assisting all the occupants. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $60,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An improperly placed charcoal grill on the deck caused the fire.

 Grill Safety Tips

  • Grills should be placed at least 15 feet from any home, building, or combustibles to ensure adequate air circulation.
  • Charcoal must be kept dry. Spare propane bottles should be stored outside away from the home. A backyard shed is a good place.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill. Grills continue to give off heat long after cooking has stopped.
  • Never place hot ashes in paper or plastic bags or containers. Only use metal containers for hot ashes.
  • Use Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved electrical starters in place of lighter fluid.
  • Never use a grill on apartment or condominium balconies. This practice is one of the biggest dangers with grills. It is unsafe and against the law.