Improperly Discarded Fire Place Ashes Cause Two Alarm Apartment Fire

farmcrest-driveOn Monday, December 12, at approximately 3:30 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported fire in a garden-style apartment building in the 2500 block of Farmcrest Drive in the Herndon area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene to find a three-story building with fire visible from the balcony of a third floor apartment. Firefighters initiated an exterior attack on the fire from ground level that extinguished the majority of the visible fire. However, fire had extended into the attic of the building. A second alarm was issued.

Crews brought the fire hose to the third floor through the outside of an open stairwell and were able to extinguish the remaining fire.

A total of approximately 60 firefighters responded to the scene. There were no reported injuries to firefighters. One person was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Two adults have been displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross is providing assistance.

Fire Investigators determined the fire was accidental in nature. It was caused by discarded fire place ashes onto the balcony that ignited nearby combustibles. The estimated property damage as a result of the fire is $40,000.00.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind when handling fire place ashes. Following a few simple safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

  • Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.
  • Do not place ash containers on decks, porches, or in garages.
  • Put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid.
  • Pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool.
  • Keep your can OUTSIDE the home, away from your fireplace or stove and anything combustible.
  • Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or stove.