Cooking Causes Alexandria Townhouse Fire

Units responded to a townhouse fire Monday, October 26, 2015, at approximately 1:55 p.m., in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 7300 Eastgate Lane.

Firefighters encountered smoke coming from the front of the three-story, end unit townhome upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire in the kitchen area. Three occupants were at home when the fire broke out and escaped unharmed. The home had working smoke alarms; however, the occupants evacuated after smelling smoke. Two adults and four children have been displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined by the occupants. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $94,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Overheated cooking oil 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.