Deceased resident identified in Leesburg house fire

On Wednesday, December 16, 2020 the Loudoun County Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed the identity of the victim from Sunday’s house fire as 58-year-old Lynne McKew. The official cause of death remains under investigation by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. 

Just before 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 13, 2020, Loudoun County firefighters responded to a house fire at 323 Harrison Street, SE in Leesburg. Fire and rescue crews arrived on scene and reported visible smoke from the rear of the two-story townhouse. A fire was located on the first floor and upon extinguishing the fire, firefighters located the deceased female inside the residence.

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office investigation has determined that the fire was accidental, caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials. Damages to the structure are estimated at $184,800.

Loudoun County fire and rescue units from Leesburg, Hamilton, Purcellville, Lansdowne, Ashburn, and numerous command officers were dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 300 block of Harrison Street, SE. 911 calls to the Loudoun County Emergency Communication Center reported that the house was on fire and someone may be trapped inside. 

Firefighters arrived on scene and reported visible smoke from the rear of the two-story townhouse. Crews quickly entered the building and searched for the fire and any inhabitants. A small fire was located on the first floor along with a deceased adult female. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, confining it to the single unit, and ventilated the structure.

Fires caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials have not only resulted in millions of dollars in damages to Loudoun County homes, they also needlessly endanger citizens and fire and rescue personnel. These fires are preventable. Follow these safety precautions when discarding smoking materials:

  • Dispose of smoking materials only in a metal or ceramic container filled with sand or water. 
  • Remember that mulch, potting soil, etc. is combustible and will burn quickly when exposed to heat. 
  • Place smoking receptacles away from the home, not on the front porch, balcony, deck, or outside your door.
  • Remember, “Put it out, all the way, every time.”

 For additional fire and life safety information, go to the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office website at Loudoun.gov/fireprevention or call 703-737-8600.

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