Accidental Mount Vernon Commercial Building 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 13-34
Date:  April, 01, 2013

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a structure fire, Sunday, March 31, 2013, at approximately 5:20 p.m., in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County. The structure, a commercial building, is located at 8145 Richmond Highway. The building contained three businesses.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the outside electrical power meter of the two-story building upon arrival. Fire was rapidly spreading up the vinyl siding and into the second floor; firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack from the exterior and interior of the second floor and extinguished the fire in approximately 10 minutes. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $30,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Improperly installed electrical wiring involving the electrical meter 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. 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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