Units responded to a house fire Sunday, March 20, 2016, at approximately 2:50 p.m., in the Springfield area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 5924 Veranda Drive.
Firefighters were dispatched for a reported fire in a chimney of a two-story single-family home. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire. There were working smoke alarms in the home that activated, however the occupants were alerted to the fire prior to the alarms sounding. All occupants escaped unharmed. Four occupants have been displaced. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. There were no injuries.
Damage is estimated at $168,750.
According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Hot embers escaped from the flue and ignited structural components of the chimney causing the fire.
Fireplace Safety Tips
- Ensure that your chimney is cleaned and inspected by a licensed professional once a year.
- A spark arrestor across the top of a chimney will prevent sparks from igniting your roof.
- Use the proper fuel (seasoned hardwood, pellets, and gas/propane) for your type of system.
- Never use gasoline, kerosene, or other flammable liquids to start a fire.
- Fireplaces should have a sturdy screen across the front to prevent embers from flying or logs from rolling out.
- When clearing ashes from the fireplace, be sure to put them into a metal container with a lid—never into a cardboard box or paper bag.
- Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Many “non-masonry” fireplace/chimney units have limitations on the amount of heat they can safely withstand.