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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 10-69
Date: July 23, 2010

Accidental West Springfield House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire Thursday, July 22, 2010, at approximately 6:30 a.m., in the West Springfield area of Fairfax County. The single family home is located at 8114 Viola Street.
Firefighters saw smoke coming from the second floor of the two-story, split-foyer home upon arrival. Firefighters quickly conducted an interior attack in the master bedroom and brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes. The fire was contained primarily to the bedroom; however, there was some additional fire extension and smoke and water damage on the second floor.
A smoke alarm activated when the lone occupant opened the door to the master bedroom. The occupant escaped unharmed. One adult and three children have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting the family. There were no injuries.
Damage is estimated at $97,000.
According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. The fire was caused by an electrical irregularity, specifically high resistance heating of the electrical wiring.

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.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Last Modified: Monday, August 29, 2011

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