Improper Disposal Of Fireplace Ashes Cause Of Fairfax Station House Fire


On Sunday, December 31, at approximately 6:06 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 6100 block of Housatonic Court in the Fairfax Station section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived to find a two-story, split-level home and observed fire coming from the first floor and rear deck and extending to the roof. Crews quickly extinguished the bulk of fire from the outside and then entered the home to extinguish the remaining fire.

Several people driving by called 9-1-1. One of the home’s four occupants discovered the fire on the exterior of the home. They all evacuated prior to the smoke alarms sounding and arrival of fire department.

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

Two adults and two children were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. One adult male received a minor injury to his foot while escaping the fire. He declined treatment and transport. There were no other reported injuries to civilians or firefighters.

Damages as a result of the fire are approximately $125,000.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind when handling fireplace ashes. Following a few simple safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

  • Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.
  • Do not place ash containers on decks, porches, or in garages.
  • Put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid.
  • Pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool.
  • Keep your can OUTSIDE the home, away from your fireplace or stove and anything combustible.
  • Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or wood stove.

Candle Causes Merrifield Apartment Fire


On Monday, December 25 at approximately 8:19 p.m., units were dispatched for a reported garden apartment fire in the 2900 block of Charing Cross Road in the Merrifield section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene to find smoke visible from the front of a three-story, garden apartment. Crews quickly located the fire and initiated an aggressive attack to extinguish it.

There was one occupant home at the time of the fire. The occupant attempted to extinguish the fire prior to evacuating the apartment and then calling 9-1-1.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in one of the rooms. The cause of the fire was when the occupant accidently knocked over a candle which fell on top of a futon.

The occupant was assessed by paramedics and transported to an area hospital for a checkup. There were no other reported injuries to civilians or firefighters. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. One person was displaced as a result of this fire.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $25,000.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind residents that the improper use of candles can result in catastrophe. To avoid the dangers of fire while burning candles, please follow the safety tips listed below:

◾Never leave burning candles unattended

◾Keep all combustible materials away from open flames

◾Do not burn candles near windows or doorways

◾Place candles in glass or ceramic containers

◾Place candles on a flat, sturdy non-combustible surface

◾Never leave candles burning when children or pets are present

Home Holiday Fire Facts

It is that wonderful time of year when there are many holiday celebrations occurring. Please take a moment to review the below facts and video about home holiday fires from our partners in safety at the United States Fire Administration and the National Fire Protection Association. 

•One of every four home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical problems.

•Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur, they are more likely to be serious. On average, one of every 32 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death compared to an average of one death per 143 total reported home fires.

•A heat source too close to the tree causes one in every four Christmas tree fires.

•The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.

•Candles start two out of five home decoration structure fires.

Five Dangers Of Deep Frying A Turkey

Over the last several years, deep frying a turkey has become a popular way to cook thanksgiving dinner. It has also become a very dangerous way to cook a thanksgiving meal!

Take a moment to watch the below Turkey Fryer Demonstration video from our partners in safety at Underwriters Laboratories (UL). As well, please review the Five Dangers Of Deep Frying A Turkey:

  1. Turkey fryers can easily tip over spilling hot oil across a large area.
  2. An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside.
  3. A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter.
  4. Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire.
  5. The pot, lid and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries.


Keeping Your Little Ghouls And Goblins Safe

Halloween can be a scary time as it relates to fire safety. Decorations and candles in particular can turn your Halloween into a horrifying experience if care is not taken.

We want to make sure your little ghouls and goblins have a fun time safely. Please take a moment to view the below picto-graph, from our partners in safety at the National Fire Protection Association, for some helpful tips to keep this Halloween a safe one for you and your loved ones.

Halloween fire safety tips

Accessible version here

Halloween by the numbers*

  • 2011-2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 840 home structure fires annually that began with decorations.
  • These fires caused an average of 2 civilian deaths, 36 civilian injuries, and $11.4 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Almost half (45%) of these fires were tied to decorations being too close to some type of heat source, such as a candle. A fire can start when candles are too close to decorations or when long, trailing costumes come into contact with candles.

*From the NFPA

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