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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-016
Date: February 25, 2011

Accidental Reston Garden Apartment Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a garden apartment fire, Thursday, February 24, 2011, at approximately 3:10 p.m. in the Reston area of Fairfax County. The apartment complex is located at 1602 Becontree Lane.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the four-story apartment upon arrival. It took firefighters approximately 50 minutes to bring the fire under control.  The fire originated in a bedroom in the second floor apartment. Additionally, two adjacent apartments received significant residual damage. Smoke alarms inside the apartment sounded and provided early warning to the occupants. Sixteen occupants from three apartments have been displaced, eight adults and eight children.  Red Cross is assisting all the affected families. One adult received a non-life threatening injury. They were treated at the scene by paramedics and refused transport to a medical facility.

Damage is to be determined.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An electrical anomaly inside a sewing machine caused the fire.

Electrical Safety Tips

  • Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  • If your power goes out a lot or the lights in your home flicker, smell bad, or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect your wiring.   
  • The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).  This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together.  An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
  • All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “face plates.”
  • When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
  • Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  • Don’t tie or knot electrical cords.
  • Don’t let furniture sit on electrical cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.

For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger,
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711.
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability in all county programs,
services and activities. Reasonable accommodations will be provided upon request.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030


Last Modified: Monday, August 29, 2011

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