At approximately 4:09 p.m. on Friday, January 20, units were dispatched for a report of a house fire in the 700 block of Van Buren Street in the Town of Herndon.
Units arrived on the scene and reported smoke showing from the attic area of a two-story Cape Cod style home. Crews advanced fire hose to the second floor, gained entry to the attic, and encountered an active fire in the attic area. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and contained it to the attic space.
Four adults and two children were inside the home at the time of the fire. There were smoke alarms present in the home, however, there were no batteries installed and the smoke alarms failed to activate. A passerby had noticed smoke coming from the roof area at the end of the home and proceeded to alert the occupants. The occupants safely evacuated prior to fire department arrival.
There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries. A family of six have been displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the attic space on the second floor. The fire was determined to be accidental in nature and caused by an electrical event involving electrical wiring. Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be $68,750.00.
The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would also like to remind all residents that working smoke alarms can save lives! Please take a moment to review the below smoke alarm tips:
- Replace the batteries in your smoke alarm once a year, or as soon as the alarm “chirps” warning that the battery is low.
- Clean and vacuum smoke alarms regularly.
- Replace your smoke alarm every ten years.
- Don’t disable smoke alarms, even temporarily.
- The combination of properly working smoke alarms, a planned and practiced family escape plan, and basic home fire safety awareness is the key to being safer.
Additional Safety Note: With the introduction of ten-year lithium batteries available for use in smoke alarms, replacement is not needed on an annual basis. However, monthly cleaning and testing remains an important safety measure.