Improper Disposal Of Smoking Materials Causes Dunn Loring Apartment Fire


On Sunday, July 9 at approximately 7:23 a.m., units from Fire Station 13, Dunn Loring, and Fire Station 29, Tyson’s Corner, were dispatched for a fire alarm sounding in four-story apartment building in the 2100 block of Tannin Place in the Dunn Loring section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene to investigate the alarm and found smoke showing from a third floor balcony. Crews immediately requested additional units. Firefighters quickly deployed multiple lines of fire hose to confine and extinguish a concealed fire which was in the wall space running between multiple apartments and floors.

A sprinkler pipe in the ceiling of one of the units, directly below the apartment where the fire started, burst which activated the building’s alarm system and alerted the building occupants. All building occupants safely evacuated.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started on a third floor balcony. The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental in nature, as the result of improper disposal of smoking materials.

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries. Eight units have been deemed uninhabitable as a result of the fire. Red Cross is assisting a total of five displaced residents. Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $200,000.

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:

  • Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. The soil, when it gets too dry, can become highly flammable.
  • 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.