Accidental Falls Church Condominium Fire

Units responded to a high-rise condominium building Wednesday, March 30, 2016, at approximately 11:40 a.m., in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County. The building is located at 5505 Seminary Road.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from the kitchen area of a single condominium unit. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.

The home had working smoke alarms that sounded, alerting the lone occupant to the fire. One occupant has been displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined. Damage is estimated at $93,750.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. The cause of the fire was combustible materials too close to the stove top heating element.

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 iAnward, 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.