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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 10-22
Date: February 9, 2010

Two Firefighters Injured In Fair Oaks Apartment Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to an apartment fire, on Monday, February 8 2010, at approximately 6 p.m., in the Fair Oaks area of Fairfax County. The apartment is located at 4224 Hunt Club Circle.

Firefighters encountered heavy fire showing from the top floor of the three-story garden apartment upon arrival. The fire quickly spread into the attic and roof. It took firefighters approximately 40 minutes to bring the fire under control. The fire originated on the balcony of a third floor apartment. The Incident Commander struck a second alarm, bringing over 60 firefighters to the scene. A total of 20 occupants from 16 apartments were displaced. Red Cross assistance was not needed.

Two firefighters were injured in the fire when the third floor roof collapsed, causing one firefighter to fall from a burning balcony on the top floor. Another firefighter was also injured in the fire. Both injuries were non-life threatening. Additionally, one resident was transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Snow, ice, and road conditions continued to challenge firefighting activities for all personnel.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Improper disposal of fireplace ashes caused the fire.

Fire Hydrants/Snow Clearing

  • Clear snow away from fire hydrants in your neighborhood. Ask neighbors to adopt a fire hydrant and clear snow and ice away from all hydrants so that they are easily visible in the event of a fire. Residents also are reminded that parking is prohibited within 15 feet of a fire hydrant located along the curb line or edge of any public or private roadway. No special curb marking is required for enforcement.
  • Keep your driveway and walks clear so that firefighters and medics can reach your house if you need them.

Fireplace Safety Tips

  • Ensure that your chimney is cleaned and inspected by a licensed professional once a year.
  • A spark arrestor across the top of a chimney will prevent sparks from igniting your roof.
  • Use the proper fuel (seasoned hardwood, pellets, and gas/propane) for your type of system. Never use gasoline, kerosene, or other flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Fireplaces should have a sturdy screen across the front to prevent embers from flying or logs from rolling out.
  • When clearing ashes from the fireplace, be sure to put them into a metal container with a lid—never into a cardboard box or paper bag.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.  Many “non-masonry” fireplace/chimney units have limitations on the amount of heat they can safely withstand.

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

Last Modified: Monday, August 29, 2011

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