Cooking Causes Annandale House Fire

Units responded to a townhouse fire Friday, February 5, 2016, at approximately 4:25 p.m., in the Annandale area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 8474 Ararat Court.

Firefighters encountered smoke coming from the rear deck of the two-story single-family home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire. There was one occupant home at the time of the fire who sustained a minor burn injury but was not transported. The home had working smoke alarms, however the alarms sounded after the occupant had already been alerted to the fire. Four occupants have been displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined.

Damage is estimated at $271,250.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. A pan on the stove top caught fire and was carried to the outside deck area and placed on a plastic table. The plastic table melted and ignited the deck causing fire to spread to the home.

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.