Improper Disposal Of Smoking Materials Causes Belle View Fire

newsupdateOn Sunday, March 16, at approximately 12:01 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported fire in an apartment building in the 6600 block of Wakefield Drive in the Belle View section of Fairfax County.

Units from Fire Station 11, Penn Daw, arrived on scene and reported smoke showing from the roof area of a nine-story apartment building. A second alarm was immediately requested. Firefighters located and extinguished a fire on the building’s roof top wooden deck.

The building was occupied at the time of the fire. A resident discovered the fire on the roof top and alerted all occupants by activating the fire alarm. The occupants were in the process of self-evacuating when fire department units arrived.

No occupants were displaced due to the fire. Red Cross assistance was not needed. There were no civilian injuries. One firefighter was transported to the hospital for medical evaluation.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started on the exterior roof top on a wooden deck and was accidental in nature. The cause of the fire was due to improper disposal of smoking materials. Damages are approximately $10,000.

This fire was the second fire on Sunday, April 16 that was caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents who smoke to keep in mind the below safety tips as it relates to the proper disposal of smoking materials:

  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.