Accidental Springfield Garden Apartment Fire (No Working Smoke Alarms)


Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department
4100 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703-246-3801, TTY: 711 and Fax:703-385-1687
Duty PIO (Weekends/After-hours): 703-877-3702
fire-rescue.PA-LSE@fairfaxcounty.gov


News Release 11-82
Date:  November 7, 2011 

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a garden apartment fire Saturday, November 5, 2011, at approximately 5:10 a.m. in the Springfield area of Fairfax County. The apartment is located at 7236 Commerce Street.

Firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke coming from the rear of a ground floor apartment and rapidly extending upwards to the eaves of the second and third floors upon arrival. The incident commander struck a second alarm, bringing approximately 60 firefighters to the scene of the three story building. It took firefighters approximately 70 minutes to bring the fire under control.  Six apartments within the building received some fire, smoke, and water damage, the other five apartments all received some residual smoke and water damage. More than 70 occupants were displaced because of the power being shut down and extensive fire and water damage. Occupants were temporarily moved to Garfield Elementary School with additional long term support provided by the Red Cross. One occupant was transported to the Springfield Healthplex with a non-life threatening injury. The apartment building had multiple non-working smoke alarms in the building. Prior to leaving, firefighters checked and installed working smoke alarms in apartments in the fire building and the apartment building adjacent.

Damage for all apartment units is estimated at $750,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An electrical anomaly within a refrigerator motor caused the fire.


For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I Randal Bittinger, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department, 703-246-3801 and TTY: 711. 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.
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