Unattended Cooking Causes Fairfax House Fire

On Sunday, April 23, at approximately 11:11 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Fairfax Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 4400 block of San Marcus Drive in the Fairfax section of Fairfax County.

First arriving units found a two-story, single family home with smoke coming from the front door and rear windows. Firefighters discovered a fire in the kitchen area of the home that was rapidly spreading from the stove to the cabinets. The fire was quickly extinguished and damage was contained to the kitchen.

The home was occupied by one adult and four children at the time of the fire. One of the occupants discovered the fire after smelling an odor of something burning in the kitchen. The homeowner called 9-1-1 and all occupants safely evacuated the home prior to fire department arrival.

There were three smoke alarms located in the home. The occupants discovered the fire prior to the smoke alarms sounding.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the kitchen area. The cause of the fire was accidental in nature and was caused by unattended food cooking on the stove.

There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries. A total of five occupants were displaced due to the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $18,000.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would also like to remind all residents about cooking safely. Please remember to “Watch What You Heat!

Kitchen Safety Tips

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  •  If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.


Space Heater Causes Bailey’s Crossroads Condo Fire

At approximately 9:28 p.m., on Saturday, April 22, units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, Alexandria Fire Department, and Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched for a reported fire in a residential high rise in the 2700 block of South George Mason Drive in the Bailey’s Crossroads section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene to find residents evacuating the building. Initially, there was no visible fire or smoke. The fire alarm panel indicated there was smoke on the seventh floor. Firefighters proceeded to the seventh floor and found smoke conditions throughout hallway. Crews located the condominium unit on fire and quickly extinguished the fire.

The occupants of the unit were alerted to the fire by an odor of smoke. There were no smoke alarms observed in the condominium.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the bedroom of the unit. The cause of the fire was accidental in nature and resulted from a space heater that tipped over and ignited nearby combustibles.

There were no reported firefighter injuries. One civilian was transported to an area hospital for evaluation. One occupant was displaced as a result of the fire. The Red Cross assistance was offered and declined.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $18,750.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would like to remind all residents that working smoke alarms save lives as well as property.

In addition, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue would also like to remind all residents about the safe use of space heaters:

  1. Use only appliances that cut off automatically if tipped over.
  2. Use only models that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing agency (UL or Factory Mutual).
  3. Space heaters need space! Keep combustible materials at least three feet away from space heaters.
  4. If using an electric model, make sure the cord is not frayed or worn. Never use an extension cord with a portable heater.
  5. Keep children and pets away from portable heaters. It only takes a second for curiosity to lead to a serious burn.
  6. Turn heaters off when you leave home or go to bed.

Neighbor Helping Neighbor – Free Training In Basic Disaster Response Skills

Neighbor Helping Neighbor – Free Training In Basic Disaster Response SkillsCommunity Emergency Response Team (CERT) is a training program administered through the auspices of the county fire and rescue department. The training prepares residents to help themselves, their families and neighbors in the event of a disaster in their community. Through CERT, residents can learn about disaster preparedness and receive training in basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations.

At this time, the next available CERT Class is scheduled to begin on Monday, May 22 at the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Academy. There are two sessions each week on Mondays and Wednesdays that run until June 21. The class is 28 hours in length, plus the final practical exercise.

CERT training is free of charge and basic gear is provided. The minimum requirements to participate in CERT training at any level is that residents be 16 years of age or older, and either be a Fairfax County resident, or work in the county.

To learn more about CERT, please go here: http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fr/cert/cert.htm

To sign up, please go here: https://volunteer.fairfaxcounty.gov/recruiter/index.php?recruiterID=1380&class=OppDetails&oppGuid=7D82617D-1474-4D20-AD47-FA0306D2FD42

Support H.E.R.O.E.S. By Playing Golf

HEROES Inc. Golf TournamentH.E.R.O.E.S. (Honor Every Responsible Officer’s Eternal Sacrifice) Inc., is a non-profit, charitable organization serving the Washington metropolitan area. HEROES, Inc. provides financial aid and professional counsel to the surviving family members of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty.

For the 47th year, HEROES, Inc., will sponsor a golf tournament at Twin Lakes Golf Course. The 2017 tournament will be held on Thursday and Friday, July 13th and 14th. All proceeds from the tournament will go directly to the HEROES, Inc. educational scholarship fund.

You do not have to be a firefighter or police officer to participate in the tournament. Corporate Sponsors are also welcome!

For more information please go here: HEROES, Inc., Golf Tournament

Treadmill Causes Reston House Fire

On Wednesday, April 19, at approximately 8:38 a.m., units were dispatched for a report of a house fire in the 2200 block of Marginella Drive in the Reston section of Fairfax County. 

Units arrived on scene to find fire showing from the rear of a two-story, single family house. Firefighters went to work extinguishing a large volume of fire in the back of the home. They were able to bring the fire under control approximately ten minutes after arrival.     

There were two occupants in the house at the time of the fire. One occupant discovered the fire and called 911. The smoke alarms activated after the fire was discovered. Both residents self-evacuated prior to the arrival of the fire department.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the sunroom to the rear of the house. The cause of the fire was accidental in nature, involving a treadmill. 

Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $237,466.

Giving Back By Adopting-A-Hydrant

By: Thomas Johnson, Captain I
Fire Station 25, Reston, C-Shift

Recently firefighters from Fire Station 25, Reston, C-Shift presented a local resident with a certificate for adopting a fire hydrant in her neighborhood. The citizen/recipient, Ms. Anna, shared with us her impetus for getting involved in the program.Giving Back By Adopting-A-Hydrant

The following briefly tells her story: On September 2, 1994, Ms. Anna was involved in a very serious motorcycle accident. She suffered a number of very horrific injuries, and our department responded to the accident. Ms. Anna suffered multi-system trauma, and was flown by helicopter to a local trauma center for treatment.

Hospital staff later told her that the Firefighters/EMTs/Paramedics saved her life with the pre-hospital emergency care they provided. Ms. Anna stated that from that point on she has “loved” the fire department and wholeheartedly supported our agency.

Ms. Anna was thrilled to be presented her certificate, and is committed to doing her small part to make our jobs easier, and the community a little safer.

To learn more about the Adopt a Hydrant program, please click here: Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Launches Adopt-a-Hydrant Program

Never Too Early To Learn First Aid

By: Lieutenant Jason Buttenshaw
EMS Training, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Training Academy

It’s never too early to learn first aid. Webelo Cub Scouts from Den 4, Pack 698 visited the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Training Academy to take a brief tour and then learn valuable First Aid skills.

The Pack saw where recruit firefighters practice fire training scenarios. They then proceeded to the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) training section where they learned the skill of Hands Only CPR. After this they were taught simple first aid for injuries they may encounter when going on camping trips or similar outings. To top things off, the group also learned how to create fake injuries so that the recruits or paramedic students can encounter realistic injuries during training.

After a fun afternoon all the kids went home with either a burn, laceration, or bruising – all fake thankfully, and hopefully a few imaginations were captured with the prospect that maybe, just maybe, they too can become a Firefighter/Paramedic one day.