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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): 703-280-0694
Media Information Line: 703-324-3000

News Release 09-28
Date: March 27, 2009

Huntington High-Rise Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a high-rise structure fire at approximately 2:00 p.m., Thursday, March 26, 2009, in the Huntington area of Fairfax County.  The 16-story condominium, The Montebello, is located at 5902 Mount Eagle Drive.

A building security guard called 911 to report fire on the seventh floor of the building. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke in the hallways of the seventh and eighth floors and fire in unit 705. Second and third alarms were struck by the Incident Commander, bringing over 90 emergency personnel to the scene. The seventh and eighth floors were evacuated, and several dozen occupants from other floors sheltered in place. Firefighters assisted several occupants to safety during the evacuation. 

Firefighters rescued two cats while fighting the fire. Firefighters brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes. One adult has been displaced. Red Cross is assisting the displaced resident. Several occupants were evaluated by medical personnel; however, none were transported to the hospital.

Damage is estimated at $25,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An unattended candle 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.
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

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Last Modified: Saturday, March 28, 2009