Unattended Food On Stove Causes Bailey’s Crossroads Apartment Fire

On Thursday, January 31, at approximately 5:36 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, Arlington County Fire Department, and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported apartment fire in the 3400 block of Carlin Springs Road in the Bailey’s Crossroads area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and observed fire showing from the second and third floors and extending to the roof. A second alarm was requested. Crews rapidly engaged in fire fighting and rescue operations. The building stairwell was filled with thick smoke. 9-1-1 dispatchers received multiple calls reporting persons trapped in apartments. Eight occupants were rescued by ground ladder in the rear of the building by firefighters from Arlington County, Alexandria City, and Fairfax County.

Due to the weather conditions and nature of the fire, a third alarm was requested. Crews were able to quickly contain the fire. As a result of below freezing temperatures, a Fast Trans bus was used to keep displaced civilians warm. Red Cross and property management representatives were on scene assisting with resident care. Firefighters utilized the Rehab Unit and Training Academy bus to rotate out of the frigid temperatures. One resident was evaluated by EMS but declined transport. There were no firefighter injuries reported.

The fire was discovered when an occupant returned home. He attempted to notify the rest of the building’s occupants about the fire by yelling and knocking on doors. Smoke alarms were present in the apartment of origin and had activated. 9-1-1 received multiple calls reporting the fire.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen area of one of the units. The fire was caused when food was left unattended on the gas stove.

Twelve apartments were damaged during the event and were unable to be reoccupied. Red Cross assisted 32 residents with their immediate needs. Damages as a result of the fire was approximately $335,000.