Unattended Cooking Causes Centreville Apartment Fire

Units responded to an apartment fire Saturday, June 13, 2015, at approximately 10 a.m., in the Centreville area of Fairfax County. The garden apartment is located at 5852 Post Corners Trail.

Firefighters encountered light smoke in the four-story apartment upon arrival. The fire was extinguished by the sprinkler system prior to firefighters arriving. Ten occupants have been displaced and were alerted by smoke alarms. Red Cross support is being provided to the occupants. One occupant was transported to the Washington Hospital Burn Center by ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

Damage is estimated at $23,000.

According fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Unattended food left on the stove caused the fire.

 Kitchen Safety Tips

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.