Accidental Herndon House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 12-27
Date:  April 16, 2012

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire, Saturday, April 14, 2012, at approximately 3 p.m., in the Herndon area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 12363 Pinafore Court.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the garage, second floor, attic, and roof of the one and one-half story home upon arrival. The home was fully involved with fire when crews arrived on scene. The Incident Commander struck a second alarm, bringing over 60 firefighters to the fire scene.  It took firefighters approximately 30 minutes to bring the fire under control. Firefighters conducted extensive salvage and overhaul operations, extinguishing multiple hotspots throughout the house. Two adults have been displaced. Three family pets perished in the fire. One firefighter was transported to the Washington Hospital Center for non-life threatening injuries. Red Cross is assisting the occupants.

The home was a total loss.

According to fire investigators, the cause of the fire was accidental. An unidentified electrical source in the garage 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.
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Fairfax, VA 22030

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