Fire safety reminders after two accidental fires

After two accidental house fires within twenty-four hours displaced ten people and caused $604k in damages, Loudoun firefighters offer important fire prevention information. 

On Tuesday, July 15, just before 2:45 p.m., the Loudoun County Emergency Communication Center received a 911 reporting a house fire on Peacock Circle in Hamilton. The 911 callers reported a fire in the kitchen with smoke coming out of the front door.

Loudoun County fire and rescue units from Hamilton, Leesburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, Lovettsville, and Lucketts responded along with Safety, EMS, and Command staff.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the front door and quickly determined that all people were out of the house. Crews entered the home and located a fire in the stove area of the kitchen.

Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters checked to ensure there was no fire extension to other areas of the home. Fire damage was limited to the kitchen however there was extensive smoke damage through the interior of the structure.

Five residents and three pets were displaced, and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Paramedics evaluated two young adults on the scene, and determined there were no injuries to civilians or fire and rescue personnel. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the fire was accidental, due to unattended cooking and estimated damages at $150,150.

Unattended cooking is often the cause of expensive and even deadly home fires.

 In October of 2019, unattended cooking was responsible for a fatal house fire, that took the life of a Sterling manThese fires can be prevented.

Fire Chief Keith H. Johnson reminds everyone, “to always remain in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove. Remember, watch what you heat.”

On July 16, a second accidental fire displaced a Dulles area family of five, and caused over $450,000 in damages.

Just after 3 a.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a house fire on Lucketts Bridge Circle in Ashburn. Callers indicated that they could see smoke and fire on the first floor of the home.

Loudoun County fire and rescue crews from South Riding, Kincora, Aldie, Sterling, Moorefield, and Ashburn responded along with Safety, EMS, and Command staff.

Firefighters arrived to find active fire on the first floor, and five uninjured occupants outside of the structure. The homeowner told firefighters that one dog was missing and presumed to be inside.

Crews quickly entered the residence and extinguished a fire in the first-floor study. As crews cleared the smoke and debris from the home, the family dog was located unharmed and returned to the family. There were no injuries to civilians or first responders.

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office investigation determined the fire was accidental, caused by improperly discarded smoking materials, and estimated the damages at just over $450,000.

Five residents and one dog were displaced and are being assisted by American Red Cross.

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.

Follow these safety precautions when discarding smoking materials:

  • Dispose of smoking materials only in a metal or ceramic container filled withsand 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, noton the front porch, balcony, deck, or outside your door.

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

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