UPDATE: (2/22/17 at 3:10 p.m.) The victim of last night’s fire has been identified as Stellan Lotuno.
On Tuesday, February 21, at approximately 5:08 p.m., the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department responded for reports of a brush fire in the 8100 block of Arcade Street in the Lorton section of Fairfax County. While units were en route, the incident was upgraded to a house fire based on incoming 911 calls.
Upon arrival, units observed fire and smoke showing from the garage of a single family home. Two adults had evacuated the property and advised firefighters that a four year-old child was in the garage. Firefighters initiated an aggressive attack inside the garage in an attempt to rescue the child. The fire was quickly extinguished. The child was located in the garage. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Prior to the arrival of fire and rescue units, three neighbors, a retired Fairfax County Battalion Chief, an off-duty Fairfax County Battalion Chief and an off-duty Fairfax County Fire Lieutenant, attempted to extinguish the fire and rescue the child. Both were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The two adult occupants were also taken to a local hospital for smoke inhalation. Two dogs were rescued. Two additional dogs and three birds perished. There were no on duty firefighter injuries.
The fire was discovered by an occupant of the house. There were smoke alarms in the home. It is unknown if they activated at the time of the fire.
The Fire Marshal’s Office is conducting an investigation in conjunction with the Fairfax County Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau per standard operating procedures. Fire investigators determined the fire was accidental in nature and started inside the garage. It was caused by inappropriate use of a lighter by the child.
Damages are estimated to be $93,750.