On Monday, August 29, at approximately 7:59 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported apartment fire in the 2700 block of Arlington Drive located in the Hybla Valley area of Fairfax County. Units arrived on scene and reported smoke showing from the roof area of a three-story, garden style apartment building. A second alarm was immediately requested by command and dispatched. Shortly after the arrival of firefighters, fire was observed in the roof area. The fire originated in a second floor bedroom, broke through the window and extended vertically into the attic space. Firefighters quickly went to work containing the fire and ensuring it did not spread across the attic/roof area. Approximately 60 firefighters were on scene of the fire.
The fire was reported by the occupant of the apartment where the fire originated. Smoke alarms were present in the apartment unit, however, they were inoperable. The building has twelve units, of which eight were occupied at the time of the fire. A total of approximately 20 occupants have been displaced. The management company, in conjunction with Red Cross, have relocated all of the displaced residents.
There were no civilian injuries reported. One firefighter was evaluated for a heat-related injury.
Fire Investigators have listed the fire as accidental in nature with the cause determined to be unattended candles in close proximity to ordinary combustibles. Damages were estimated to be $663,547.00 total.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind residents to avoid the dangers of fire while burning candles to please follow the safety tips listed below:
- Never leave burning candles unattended
- Keep all combustible materials away from open flames
- Do not burn candles near windows or doorways
- Place candles in glass or ceramic containers
- Place candles on a flat, sturdy non-combustible surface
- Never leave candles burning when children or pets are present