Units responded to a commercial high rise building fire Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at approximately 7:45 p.m., in the Herndon area of Fairfax County. The building is located at 13820 Sunrise Valley Drive.
Firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the lower level of the ten-story building upon arrival. Upon further investigation, firefighters found fire in the first floor “battery room.” Additionally, an outside transformer caught fire near the building. The Incident Commander sounded a second alarm bringing more than 60 firefighters to the scene. Firefighters ensured all occupants had evacuated the building. There were approximately 50 employees in the building when the fire broke out. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the room of origin and transformer with no fire extension to other parts of the building. There were no injuries.
The automatic fire alarm did activate; however, a security officer called 911 after hearing an explosion. One sprinkler head did activate helping to keep the fire contained.
Damage is estimated at $2M.
According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An electrical event in the control module to the uninterruptible power supply caused the fire.