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.

Electrical Malfunction Causes Groveton Apartment Fire

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.

Little Rain Last Three Weeks – Be Fire Safe While Outdoors

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.

Little Rain Last Three Weeks - Be Fire Safe While Outdoors

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.

Combustible Items Left On Stovetop Cause Lincolnia House Fire

On Friday, August 4, at approximately 8:14 a.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Arlington County Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 3900 block of Fairfax Parkway in the Lincolnia section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene to find smoke showing from the front of a one-story, single family home. Firefighters quickly located and extinguished a fire in the kitchen area of the home.

The fire was discovered by an occupant of the home when she was awakened by the smell of smoke. One smoke alarm was located in the basement but it did not have a battery installed. All occupants evacuated prior to fire department arrival. One of the adults suffered a minor injury after leaving the house. He was treated on scene and was not transported to a medical facility. No other civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.

 Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and originated in the kitchen. The cause of the fire was lightweight combustible items left on a stovetop. The day before the fire, the stovetop had been in use when the house lost electricity due to a storm. The burner was not turned off before the occupants of the home went to sleep. Electricity was restored while the occupants were asleep and the burner began heating the combustible materials.

Two adults and two children were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was requested and accepted.

Damages as a result of the fire were estimated at approximately $62,500.

Plumbing Torch Ignites Annandale House Fire

House Fire

On Friday, July 7 at approximately 2:28 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Fairfax Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 3800 block of King Arthur Road in the Annandale section of Fairfax County.

Units from Fire Station 23, West Annandale, arrived on scene to find a three-story home with smoke showing from the roofline. Crews quickly deployed multiple lines of fire hose to confine and extinguish the fire which was concealed in the walls and attic space.

A sole occupant that was home was alerted to the fire when she smelled smoke. She safely evacuated and notified 9-1-1. The smoke alarms did not initially activate because of the location of the fire.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire originated within the void stud space on an exterior wall. The fire was determined to be accidental in nature, resulting from the use of a plumbing torch which ignited combustibles within the wall.

Two adults were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries. Damage to the house as a result of the fire is estimated to be approximately $60,000.

Fireworks Safety

fireworks safety

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. Many people in locally and nationally are injured each year due to fireworks. Consider the following safety tips when using permissible 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Keep all bystanders at least 25 feet away from fireworks.
  • Read the directions.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.

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.

Radiant Heat From Burner Causes Fairfax House Fire

newsupdate

On Sunday, June 11, at approximately 9:22 p.m., units from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and the City of Fairfax Fire Department were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 10400 block of Finchley Court in the Fairfax area of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene and reported light smoke showing from the front door of a two-story, single family home. Firefighters entered the home and discovered that the fire was already out. The fire was isolated to the kitchen area.

The fire was discovered by the occupants of the home when they returned from a family outing. All occupants were safely outside when firefighters arrived. Smoke alarms were present in the home but it is undetermined if they activated.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire started in the kitchen. The cause of the fire was accidental in nature and was the result of radiant heat, from a range burner left on, igniting combustible materials close by.

Red Cross is assisting the two adults and four children displaced as a result of the fire. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported. Damages as a result of the fire are estimated to be approximately $62,500.