Space Heater Causes Bailey’s Crossroads Condo Fire

At approximately 9:28 p.m., on Saturday, April 22, units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, Alexandria Fire Department, and Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched for a reported fire in a residential high rise in the 2700 block of South George Mason Drive in the Bailey’s Crossroads section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene to find residents evacuating the building. Initially, there was no visible fire or smoke. The fire alarm panel indicated there was smoke on the seventh floor. Firefighters proceeded to the seventh floor and found smoke conditions throughout hallway. Crews located the condominium unit on fire and quickly extinguished the fire.

The occupants of the unit were alerted to the fire by an odor of smoke. There were no smoke alarms observed in the condominium.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the bedroom of the unit. The cause of the fire was accidental in nature and resulted from a space heater that tipped over and ignited nearby combustibles.

There were no reported firefighter injuries. One civilian was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. One occupant was displaced as a result of the fire. The Red Cross assistance was offered and declined.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $18,750.

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.