Accidental Alexandria Area House Fire

Units responded to a house fire Sunday, April 3, 2016, at approximately 11:54 p.m., in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 6917 Columbia Drive.

Upon arrival, firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from the rear of the house. 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. Occupants of the house awoke when a rear glass slider failed as a result of the fire. Three adults have been displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined. Damage is estimated at approximately $25,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. The cause of the fire was determined to be improperly discarded smoking materials that were thrown into a landscaped mulch bed.

Discarded Smoking Materials Safety Tips

  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.