Unattended Cooking Causes Springfield House Fire


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 12-21
Date:  March 19, 2012

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire, Sunday, March 18, 2012, at approximately 6:20 p.m., in the Springfield area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 5206 Heming Avenue.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the one and one-half story home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack in the kitchen and brought the fire under control in approximately five minutes. During overhaul and salvage operations, firefighters found minor fire extension in the attic above the kitchen, but quickly extinguished the smoldering fire. All of the occupants escaped the fire unharmed. Eight occupants, four adults, and four children have been displaced. Red Cross is supporting the family. There were no injuries.

Damage estimate is less than $50,000.

According to the incident commander, the fire was accidental. Unattended food on the stove caused the fire.


Kitchen Safety Tips


  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.


For more information, call Daniel L. Schmidt or Captain I William Moreland, 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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