Herndon Apartment Fire Caused By Unattended Cooking

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On Sunday, September 29, at approximately 12:47 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Loudoun County Fire and Rescue were dispatched for a reported apartment fire in the 900 block of Park Avenue in the Town of Herndon.

Units arrived on the scene of a three-story, garden style apartment to find smoke showing from the attic. Crews were able to work quickly to extinguish the fire and contain it to the apartment where the fire started. There were no firefighter injuries reported. One civilian was transported to an area hospital for a check-up.

Five occupants were home when the fire was discovered. Twenty-six occupants were in the apartment building at the time of the fire. There were no smoke alarms in the apartment. There were working smoke alarms in the adjacent apartments.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the kitchen. The cause of the fire was grease that ignited in a pan on the cook stove after being left unattended.

Ten occupants from two apartments were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages were approximately $93,750.

Cooking related fires are one of the leading cause of fires locally and nationally. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents about cooking safely. Please remember to “Watch What You Heat!

Recipe for Safe Cooking

Fire Investigators Seek Public’s Help in Fair Oaks Dumpster Fires

Fire investigators from the Fairfax County Fire Marshal’s Office are asking anyone with information regarding two dumpster fires that occurred on September 7, 2019 to come forward. At 9:30 p.m., units responded to a dumpster fire in the 12200 block of Fairfield House Drive in the Fair Oaks area. Later that night, at 11:00 p.m., units responded again to the same complex for a fire in another dumpster. Both fires were quickly extinguished.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Captain Timothy Palmer at (703) 246-4707. Fire investigators would like to remind callers they can remain anonymous.

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Fireworks Safety

Fireworks

The Fourth of July would not be the same without those breathtaking fireworks. However, tragedy can strike within seconds when fireworks are not properly and safely used. Thousands of people are injured each year in the United States due to fireworks. Consider the following safety tips when using permissible fireworks:

  • Keep all bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
  • During the use of permissible fireworks, minors should be supervised by a parent or legal guardian. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Adults should always supervise activities involving the use of permissible fireworks. Parents often do not realize there are more injuries from sparklers to children under five than from any other type of fireworks. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals.
  • When using permissible fireworks, place the device on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings (50 feet).
  • When using permissible fireworks, place the device on a flat surface, clear of any combustible material and clear of all buildings (50 feet).
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse.
  • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not fully functioned.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Light one fireworks device at a time, then back to a safe distance immediately after lighting.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Avoid buying or handling fireworks that come packaged in brown paper as this can often be a sign that the fireworks are commercial or display-type fireworks made for professional fireworks shows. These fireworks can pose a serious danger to consumers and the public.
  • Read the directions on fireworks packaging.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.

Don’t forget the safety of your pets during firework’s season!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

For an expanded list of fireworks safety tips, as well as information on fireworks safety-related publications, reports, videos, news, and recalls, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Fireworks Information Center online.

A list of legal and illegal fireworks for Virginia can be found at: http://www.dof.virginia.gov/fire/safety/fireworks.htm

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Lake Barcroft House Fire

On Friday, June 14, at approximately 2:30 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, City of Alexandria, and Arlington County Fire Departments were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 6300 block of Columbia Pike in the Lake Barcroft area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single-family home with fire showing from the front and roof of the home. Crews rapidly went to work to control and eventually extinguish the fire. A second alarm was requested shortly after arrival. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.

There were two occupants home at the time of the fire. A passerby saw smoke coming from the rear of the home, alerted the occupants inside, and called 9-1-1. The occupants self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival. Smoke alarms were present and sounded after the fire was discovered.

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

A total of four occupant were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $218,500.

Oakton House Fire Displaces Two

On Saturday, June 1, at approximately 7:13 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 11200 block of Timberline Drive in the Oakton area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene of a two-story, single home to find two vehicles on fire inside of an attached garage. The fire extended from the garage to the house. Crews rapidly deployed multiple fire hose lines to halt the spread of fire to all levels of the home. The fire was quickly brought under control. There were no civilian injuries. One firefighter was transported to an area hospital with a minor injury.

No occupants were home at the time of the fire. A passer-by saw flames coming from the garage and called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms were present and did sound.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental and started in the engine compartment of a vehicle parked inside the attached garage.

Two occupants have been displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damages because of the fire were approximately $120,400.

Improperly Discarded Wood Chips From Grill Cause Lake Barcroft House Fire

On Tuesday, May 28, at approximately 1:10 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 6400 block of Queen Anne Terrace in the Lake Barcroft area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene of a one-story, single family home to find a car on fire inside of an attached carport with fire extending to the house and roof. Crews rapidly advanced two fire hose lines and quickly extinguished the fire. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

Four occupants were home at the time of the fire. Neighbors were woken up by their dog, looked out the window and noticed an orange glow. Upon further investigation, the neighbors saw the house was on fire, woke up the occupants of the home, and called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms were present but sounded after the fire was discovered.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started on the exterior of the car port. The cause of the fire was improperly discarded wood chips from a grill that were placed in a trash can.

Four occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $128,050.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue reminds all residents that after grilling though coals/wood chips may appear to be cool, always soak them with water in a metal container with lid. Coals retain enough heat to reignite for days after the fire.

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Training To Save One Of Our Own

BY: Lieutenant Angel Medina
Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department
Station 24, Woodlawn. C-Shift

Recently, members from Station 24, Woodlawn and Station 9, Mount Vernon, C-Shift met at Station 24 to conduct training related to rescuing a downed firefighter in a hazardous environment.

The training started with a review of the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) Rescue Pack. Each component of the RIT pack was explained along with when and how to use it. For those who do not know, a RIT is established at structure fires in which a crew from a unit is assigned to be ready to enter a fire to save any firefighters who may require rescue during the incident.

Crews then put full gear on and prepared for the practical component of the training. The scenario was a firefighter who called a mayday and needed to be rescued. Their objective was to assess the situation, force entry into the building, use either the hose or search rope (will help guide them back to safety), and locate the downed firefighter.

Firefighters had to force entry into the building using our forceable entry prop that is very realistic. Each firefighter had to place one of their protective hoods (a part of firefighter gear that covers neck, ears, hair) over their face piece so they could not see – which is usually the case in fires. They then had to locate the downed firefighter, utilize the RIT pack and remove the firefighter from the hazardous environment to safety.

Members of both stations did an outstanding job performing the assigned task. Training together like this is important as both stations frequently respond and work together on structure fires. We hope we never have to use this training in an actual fire. However, we will be ready to save one of our own if it occurs.