On Saturday, February 2, at approximately 1:08 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 6300 block of Telegraph Road in the Rose Hill area of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single family home with fire showing on one side of the house. Crews quickly went to work fighting the fire and conducting search and rescue operations. The crew from Truck 411, Penn Daw, were performing a primary search of the first floor when they heard a female screaming. They located an 11 year-old female in a bedroom behind a closed door. She was unharmed and quickly carried outside to safety. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.
Two occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered by an occupant when he heard a popping noise coming from the kitchen. The occupant self-evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire department. The other occupant was rescued by fire department personnel. Smoke alarms were present in the home and activated.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen area. The fire was caused by improperly discarded cigarettes into the trash.
Two adults and two juveniles were displaced due to the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $93,750.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department urges all residents who smoke to “Sink It or Soak It!” and prevent careless fires! Please 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.
- Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand. Ensure designated outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.
- 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.