Malfunctioning Blender Sparks Newington Townhouse Fire

On Friday, October 20, at approximately 4:50 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services were dispatched to a reported townhouse fire in the 7700 block of Lemoyne Lane in the Newington section of Fairfax County. 

Units arrived on scene and reported a fire in the basement of a two-story, end unit townhouse. The fire had begun to spread up the side of the townhouse through a basement window. Crews quickly went to work extinguishing the fire. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the basement and prevented it from spreading to the other floors in the home.  

Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered by an occupant prior to the activation of the smoke alarms. He alerted the rest of the occupants who were able to safely evacuate prior to the fire department’s arrival.  

Fire Investigators determined that this fire was accidental in nature and started in the basement. The cause of the fire was determined to be a malfunctioning blender. 

A total of six occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. There were no reports of civilian or firefighter injuries. 

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $303,562.

 

 

 

 

 

And The Open House Winners Are………

Saturday, October 14 was a fantastic day in all Fairfax County Fire and Rescue fire stations as we held our annual Open House event. Many County residents stopped by their local fire station to meet the firefighters that serve them, get an up close look at the fire trucks and equipment, learn about fire safety, and just generally have a fun time! 

As part of Open House, there is a competition among all the fire stations to win the “Best Open House” award. The award is given to a fire station in each of our seven battalions that best highlights this year’s Fire Prevention Week Theme along with being creative and making sure all visitors had a really good time. 

Each Battalion Chief was responsible for judging the fire stations in their battalion. The competition was tough as each station did a fantastic job putting on a great open house for those we serve. However, one station in each battalion had to win and here are the stations that won: 

Battalion One: Fire Station 39 – North Point

Battalion Two: Fire Station 2 – Vienna

Battalion Three: Fire Station 17 – Centreville

Battalion Four: Fire Station 8 – Annandale

Battalion Five: Fire Station 5 – Franconia

Battalion Six: Fire Station 11 – Penn Daw

Battalion Seven: Fire Station 14 – Burke

 

Firefighters Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

This October marks the 33rd annual Breast Cancer Awareness month. In an effort to heighten awareness in the fight against breast cancer, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FRD) employees have been authorized to wear FRD issued pink t-shirts while on duty from October 9 through October 23.

The shirts are worn as a symbol of support and recognition for all those who have been touched by breast cancer.

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Hybla Valley Townhouse Fire

On Sunday, October 8, at approximately 2:38 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the Alexandria City Fire Department responded for a reported townhouse fire in the 2700 block of Carter Farm Court in the Hybla Valley section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and reported fire showing from the rear of a two-story, middle unit townhouse. Crews quickly advanced fire hose to the rear of the unit and extinguished the fire.

The occupants were not home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered by a neighbor who then called 9-1-1.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the rear deck. The fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.

A total of four occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined. There were no reported civilian or fire fighter injuries.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $197,500.

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.

 

 

Little Rain Last Three Weeks – Be Fire Safe While Outdoors

Our area has not had much rain at all over the last three weeks. As a result, the brush, mulch, grass and vegetation are very dry.

Little Rain Last Three Weeks - Be Fire Safe While Outdoors

Courtesy of NFPA

Due to the beautiful weather, many residents are still entertaining, cooking and eating outdoors as well as enjoying an outside fire place or fire pit. Did you know that outside fireplaces or fire pits caused nearly 3,700 grass and brush fires in one year?

With all of this in mind, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents to practice fire safety while outdoors. If you smoke outside, please especially remember to extinguish smoking materials in an approved container. Below, please find some helpful safety tips from our friends at the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Do not discard cigarettes in vegetation such as mulch, potted plants or landscaping, peat moss, dried grasses, leaves or other things that could ignite easily.
  • Use a deep, sturdy ashtray when discarding cigarettes. Place it away from anything that can burn.
  • Before you throw away butts and ashes, make sure they are out. Dousing in water or sand is the best way to do that.
  • REMOVE dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch, and within 10 feet of the house.
  • REMOVE flammable materials (wood piles, propane tanks) within 30 feet of your home’s foundation and outbuildings, including garages and sheds. If it can catch fire, don’t let it touch your house, deck or porch.
  • KEEP your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down to reduce fire intensity. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
  • Have an adult present at all times when a portable fireplace is burning.
  • Use sturdy candle holders that won’t tip over easily.
  • Keep anything that can burn, as well as children and pets, at least three feet away from open flames.
  • Use battery-operated flameless candles and solar-powered patio (tiki) torches in place of an open flame. Flameless candles come in all colors, shapes and sizes, and many are scented. Flameless candles look and feel like the real ones, and add a beautiful soft glow to any outdoor event.

Fire Prevention Week Starts Sunday! “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

Fire Prevention Week Banner

Fire Prevention Week starts this Sunday, October 8 and runs through Saturday, October 14. This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

If there was a fire in your home, would you know what to do? Your smoke alarm is sounding – now what?

In a fire, every second counts! It is important that everyone plans, and practices, a home fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room. Being prepared and knowing what to do will increase your chances of getting out safely should your home experience a fire.

Please take the time to develop a home fire escape plan. Below are links to two documents that will provide a template and all of the information you need!

Escape Planning – Activity Fun Sheet for Adults and Children

Home Escape Planning

If you want some feedback on your plan, consider going to one of our fire stations for Open House on Saturday, October 14, and asking the firefighters for feedback. More information here: All Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Stations To Host Open House

Two Cats Rescued From Reston Townhouse Fire

 

On Monday, October 2, at approximately 10:57 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority Fire and Rescue Department responded to a reported townhouse fire in the 11500 block of Hearthstone Court in the Reston section of Fairfax County.   

Units arrived on scene and reported smoke showing from a two-story, middle unit townhouse. Crews quickly located and extinguished a fire in the basement of the townhouse. Firefighters rescued two cats from the home and reunited them with their owners. 

Two adult occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered when the occupants investigated an explosive sounding noise in the home and found the house filling with smoke. The occupants safely evacuated and called 9-1-1. A smoke alarm in the basement did activate. 

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the basement. The fire was caused by an incandescent lamp too close to combustible materials. 

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries reported. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Two adults and three teenage children were displaced as a result of the fire.  

Damages as a result of the fire were estimated to be $90,000.