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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 09-54
Date: July 24, 2009

Lightning Strikes Mount Vernon Home

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire at approximately 11:15 p.m., Thursday, July 23, 2009, in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 9309 Allwood Court.

Firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke coming from the roof of the one-story home upon arrival. The fire was controlled by firefighters performing an exterior attack to the home due to the large volume of fire. Firefighters brought the fire under control in approximately 50 minutes. The home was vacant. A neighbor reported the fire after they saw flames coming from the structure. The home was a total loss. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $432,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. A lightning strike on the roof caused the fire.


Lightning Safety Tips for the Home

  • During a lightning storm, suspend outdoor activities and find shelter.
  • If the time delay between seeing the flash (lightning) and hearing a thunderclap is less than 30 seconds, you should be inside, or seek a safe location.
  • Large enclosed structures (substantially constructed buildings) tend to be much safer than smaller or open structures.
  • Avoid being in or near high places and open fields, isolated trees, unprotected gazebos, or picnic shelters.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Stay off the phone unless you need to make an emergency phone call.
  • High winds, rainfall, and cloud cover often act as precursors to actual cloud-to-ground strikes notifying individuals to take action.
  • Many lightning injuries occur as a storm approaches, because people ignore these precursors.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes after a lightning storm has passed to resume outdoor activities.

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: Friday, July 24, 2009