At approximately 6:10 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, units were dispatched to a reported fire in a garden apartment building in the 8400 block of Richmond Highway, in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County.
First arriving units encountered a 3-story garden apartment building with fire through the roof. A second alarm was immediately requested based on the conditions faced on arrival. Firefighters quickly determined that there was a well-advanced fire in the attic of the building. Access was gained to the fire area and fire hoses were put in place to extinguish the fire.
The occupants in the building were alerted to the fire by an occupant who discovered the fire. Smoke alarms were present, however, they did not activate due to the location of the fire.
This building has a total of 12 apartments and there are approximately 67 occupants displaced by the fire. Red Cross and the Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management are providing assistance to the displaced occupants. No firefighter injuries were reported. One civilian was transported to an area hospital for a checkup.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated in the attic space of the building. The fire is classified as Accidental in nature with the cause due to a mechanical failure of a natural gas furnace flue. Radiant heat escaping through a damaged section of the flue ignited ordinary combustibles in the attic space.
Approximately 60 firefighters responded to the scene. Damages to the building as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $227,500.00.
Video below courtesy of Matt Yurus from WUSA9.