Unattended Cooking Causes Burke House Fire

(Photo by Derrick Welsh, Northern VA Fire Buffs)

Units responded to a house fire Wednesday, August 26, 2015, at approximately 10 p.m., in the Burke area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 5046 Dequincy Drive.

Firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from the front of the ranch-style home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive interior fire attack and quickly brought the fire under control. A neighbor alerted the occupant of the fire and called 911. There were no working smoke alarms in the home. The lone occupant has been displaced; however, has declined Red Cross support. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $118,750.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Unattended food 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.