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.
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.
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.
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.
On Thursday, May 16, at approximately 8:57 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 5500 block of Sheldon Drive in the Springfield area of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on scene of a two-story, single family home with fire showing from an attached garage. The fire extended into the living area of the home. Crews worked quickly to extinguish the fire. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries.
One occupant was home at the time of the fire. The occupant discovered the fire and self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival. There were smoke alarms in the home, however, they did not work as they did not have batteries.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in a bedroom adjacent to the garage. The cause of the fire was an overloaded circuit which caused high resistant heating in the electrical wiring.
Four occupants were displaced because of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $73,750.
Improperly discarded smoking materials is one of the leading cause of fire in Fairfax County. So far in 2019, there have been seven fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials! Monetary damages for the seven fires was approximately $231,425!
All seven fires were totally preventable! In two of the fires, the presence of fire sprinklers undoubtedly saved lives and property. Another fire necessitated the rescue of an eleven-year-old child by firefighters which averted tragedy.
If you smoke, please take a moment to learn how to prevent starting a fire. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department urges all residents who smoke to “Sink It or Soak It!” and prevent careless fires!
- 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.
Learn more about some of the recent fires:
Improper Disposal of Smoking Materials Causes Dunn Loring House Fire
Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Annandale Nursing Home Fire
Improperly Discarded Cigarettes Cause Rose Hill House Fire
Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Springfield House Fire
Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy and SAFE New Year!