Unattended Space Heater Causes Vienna House Fire

On Wednesday, March 22 at 5:27 a.m., units responded to a reported house fire in the 9800 block of Bridleridge Court in the Vienna section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a large two-story single family home with significant fire showing from a one-story sun room above the garage. In addition, crews reported that the fire had already extended into the first and second floors and attic of the main house. Crews worked aggressively on the interior and exterior of the home to contain, and limit, the fire to the areas that they encountered upon arrival.

There were two occupants at home when the fire was discovered. One of the occupants discovered the fire after hearing something fall down in the sunroom. The occupant saw smoke coming from underneath the sunroom door. A neighbor initially called 911 and reported smoke coming from the house. The occupants of the home called 911 shortly thereafter to report their house was on fire and that everyone was safely out of the home.

There was one smoke alarm located in the hallway of the home. The smoke alarm did not alert the occupants to the fire because it had been disabled.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated in the sunroom. The fire was accidental in nature and was caused by an unattended space heater that ignited ordinary combustibles.

A total of two occupants were displaced due to the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. The two adult occupants were transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. One firefighter was also transported to an area hospital for evaluation.

Damages are estimated to be approximately $176,250.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents that working smoke alarms save lives as well as property.

In addition, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would also like to remind all residents about the safe use of space heaters:

  1. Use only appliances that cut off automatically if tipped over.
  2. Use only models that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing agency (UL or Factory Mutual).
  3. Space heaters need space! Keep combustible materials at least three feet away from space heaters.
  4. If using an electric model, make sure the cord is not frayed or worn. Never use an extension cord with a portable heater.
  5. Keep children and pets away from portable heaters. It only takes a second for curiosity to lead to a serious burn.
  6. Turn heaters off when you leave home or go to bed.