Child Playing with Lighter Causes House Fire

Units responded to a house fire Wednesday, December 16, 2015, in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 3400 Dona Avenue.

Units encountered fire coming from a bedroom upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and contained the fire to the bedroom.

There was one smoke alarm in the home, however, it failed to activate because it did not have a battery installed in it.

One adult and one child were home at the time of the fire. The two occupants self-evacuated after discovering the fire. Two dogs and a pet snake were rescued from the home by firefighters. Four occupants were displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated $11,250.

According to fire investigators, the fire was caused by a child playing with a lighter.

Smoke Alarm Safety Tips

  • Replace the batteries in your smoke alarm once a year, or as soon as the alarm “chirps” warning that the battery is low.
  • Clean and vacuum smoke alarms regularly.
  • Replace your smoke alarm every ten years.
  • Don’t disable smoke alarms, even temporarily.
  • The combination of properly working smoke alarms, a planned and practiced family escape plan, and basic home fire safety awareness is the key to being safer. Safety Tips for Parents and Caregiver.

Additional Safety Note: With the introduction of ten-year lithium batteries available for use in smoke alarms, replacement is not needed on an annual basis. However, monthly cleaning and testing remains an important safety measure.

Safety Tips for Parents and Caregivers

  •  Keep matches and lighters out of sight, and out of reach.
  • Teach young children that fire and fire tools are for grown-ups to use.
  • Ask young children to tell you when they find matches and lighters, and then place them out of sight and out of reach.