Accidental House Fire (SIOC Smoke Alarm Activates)

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 14-44
Date:  May 02, 2014

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire Thursday, May 1, 2014, at approximately 5:35 p.m., in the Bailey's Crossroads area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 5972 Jan Mar Drive.

Firefighters encountered smoke coming from the rear of the two-story home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire in a second floor bedroom. Both occupants were not at home when the fire broke out. Firefighters found several working smoke alarms in the home, including one installed by firefighters during a weekend Safety In Our Community (SIOC) visit to the home. The occupants have been displaced and are being supported by Red Cross. A dog and three cats perished in the fire.

Damage is estimated at $50,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An electrical anomaly in a second floor bedroom 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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