On Saturday, December 3, at approximately 3:47 p.m., units responded for reports of a house fire in the 3700 block of Logan Court in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County.
Upon arrival, firefighters observed a one story, single family home with smoke showing from all sides of the structure. Units conducted an aggressive attack to bring the fire under control. During a search of the residence, firefighters discovered an unresponsive occupant of the home. The occupant, Jack Darris Thomas, 82, was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. He later succumbed to his injuries. In addition, a family cat perished in the fire.
The fire was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke coming from the home and called 911. One occupant was home at the time of the fire. There was a smoke alarm present, however, it is unknown if it activated. There were no reported firefighter injuries. Red Cross assistance was declined.
Investigation revealed that the fire originated in one of the bedrooms. The fire was Accidental in nature, caused by an electrical event involving a wall outlet. A contributing factor to the cause of the fire was the improper use of extension cords and surge protectors. Damages, as a result of the fire, are estimated at $18,750.00.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind as it relates to Electricity. Please take a moment to review the below Electrical Safety tips:
- Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
- Use UL rated and listed holiday lights, extension cords and surge protectors.
- Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.
- Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
- If your power goes out often or the lights in your home flicker, produce an odor, or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect your wiring.
- Arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) shut off electricity when a dangerous condition occurs. Consider having them installed in your home. Use a qualified electrician.
- The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together. An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
- All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “face plates.”
- When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
- Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
- Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
- Don’t tie or knot electrical cords.
- Don’t let furniture sit on electrical cords.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.