On Sunday, January 21, at approximately 4:01 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the Metropolitan Airport Authority Fire and Rescue Department were dispatched for a reported townhouse fire in the 2400 block of Corn Crib Court in the Herndon section of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on scene to find smoke showing from the second floor window of a middle unit, three-story townhouse. Firefighters discovered a fire in a bedroom on the second floor. Crews quickly contained and extinguished the fire.
Seven occupants were home at the time of the fire. Occupants were alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm located in the second floor hallway. All occupants safely evacuated the home and called 9-1-1.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in a second floor bedroom. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Red Cross assistance was requested and accepted. Seven occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.
Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be $50,000. The fire damage was limited to the second floor.
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
On Monday, November 13, at approximately 1:38 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Alexandria Fire Department were dispatched for a reported apartment fire in the 6500 block of Tower Drive in the Groveton section of Fairfax County.
Units arrived on scene and observed smoke coming from the roof of a four-story apartment building. Crews quickly located and extinguished a small kitchen fire in a third floor apartment.
There were no occupants in the apartment at the time of the fire. The fire was reported by a resident of the apartment building who saw smoke coming from an apartment and called 9-1-1.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the kitchen area and was accidental in nature. The cause of the fire was an electrical malfunction within a double wall switch that extended into the wall.
Three adults were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross services were offered and declined as the apartment complex is assisting with housing needs. There were no reports of civilian or firefighter injuries.
Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be $25,000.
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.
Fire Prevention Week is this week and runs through Saturday, October 14. This year’s theme for Fire Prevention Week is: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”
Check out the video from Sparky the Fire Dog below.
Please also 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
It is National Chimney Safety Week! While it has probably not been cold enough to start a fire in your fire place or wood stove, that time is coming soon.
If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, make sure your chimney is clean and in good working order by having a licensed chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney. This should be done at least once a year or possibly more if you use your fireplace or wood-burning stove frequently.
A dirty flue in your chimney can eventually result in a chimney fire that can spread to your home and cause significant damage. Please also make sure you use your fireplace or wood-burning stove safely and follow the recommended safety tips below.
- Never discard hot ashes inside or near the home. Place them in a covered metal container outside and well away from the house.
- If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have a licensed chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney at least once a year.
- Place a glass or metal spark screen in front of the fireplace and install caps on chimneys.
- Never use a flammable liquid (gasoline, kerosene, lighter fluid, etc.) to start a fire or rekindle a small one.
- Keep paper, clothing, trash, and other combustibles at least three feet away from your furnace, hot water heater, or wood-burning device.
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.
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.