Unattended Cooking Causes Sully Station Apartment Fire

On Wednesday, June 7, at approximately 7:28 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Fire and Rescue Department (Dulles Airport) were dispatched for a reported garden apartment fire in the 5100 block of Woodmere Drive in the Sully Station area of Fairfax County.Unattended Cooking Causes Sully Station Apartment Fire

Units arrived on scene to find heavy smoke showing from the hallway of a three-story garden apartment building. Firefighters quickly determined the location of the smoke and entered the apartment to find fire in the kitchen area. The fire was quickly contained and then extinguished. There was no fire extension to any other apartment units.

Two occupants reside in the apartment but were not home at the time of the fire. The fire was reported by the adult occupant when she returned home and discovered smoke upon attempting to enter her apartment. There was one smoke alarm in the apartment and unknown if it activated.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the kitchen of the apartment. The fire is accidental in nature and was caused by an unattended pan of oil left on the heating element of the stove-top.

There were no reported civilian or fire fighter injuries. Red Cross assistance was utilized for one adult and one child displaced by the fire. Damages as a result of the fire were estimated to be approximately $93,750.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would also like to remind all residents about cooking safely. Please remember to “Watch What You Heat!

Kitchen Safety Tips

◾Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

◾Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.

◾Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.

◾Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

◾Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.

◾Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.

◾Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.

◾Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.

◾If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.