Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Herndon House Fire


Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 14-61
Date: June 19, 2014

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire Wednesday, June 18, 2014, at approximately 1 p.m., in the Herndon area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 12645 Terrymill Drive.

Firefighters encountered heavy fire on the front of the two-story home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 40 minutes. A neighbor, an off-duty Montgomery County Firefighter, alerted the occupants that the exterior of the home was on fire. He also assisted with evacuating a wheel chair bound occupant.

A total of six adult occupants and one dog were displaced. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined. One person was treated on the scene for a non-life threatening injury.

Damage is estimated at $350,000.

According to fire investigators, the cause of the fire was improperly discarded smoking materials.


Discarded Smoking Materials Safety Tips


  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires. 
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children's sight and reach.


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.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
fire-rescue.PA-LSEAfairfaxcounty.gov


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