Candle Causes Reston Townhouse 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 13-134
Date:  December 11, 2013

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Tuesday, December 10, 2013, at approximately 1:25 p.m., in the Reston area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 11410 Summer House Court.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the garage and first floor living area of the three-story, middle unit townhouse upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes. Firefighters kept the fire in check not allowing it to extend to adjacent units; however, there was extensive damage to the first and second floor, and minor damage to the top floor. One adult and two children were home when the fire broke out and escaped unharmed. The occupants have been displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined by the occupants. Smoke alarms did activate inside the home. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $260,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. A candle knocked over in the garage caused the fire.


Candle Safety Tips


  • Do not place candles near combustible materials.
  • Place candles in glass or ceramic containers.
  • Place candles on a flat, sturdy surface.
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with an open flame candle.
  • Do not place candles on window ledges or near entryways. The potential air draft can “fan” the flame, catching curtains or other materials on fire.
  • Do keep burning candles within sight at all times. Candles can present fire hazards outdoors on decks and patios as well as inside your home.
  • Always extinguish candles before leaving the home.
  • Place all candles on a protected, heat resistant, dry surface away from anything that can catch fire and out of the reach of children and pets.


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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