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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 10-90
Date: October 5, 2010

Candles Cause Fatal Fire

According to fire investigators, the triple fatal fire on September 22, 2010, was accidental. Unattended candles caused the fire.

Fire Victims Identified

Elieen Cecilia Langham-Anderson, 24, Soloman Anderson, 5, and Alfonso Anderson, 3, of 9639 Hagel Circle, have been identified as the victims of the townhouse fire that occurred on September 22, 2010. 

The cause of death is smoke inhalation and thermal burns.

There have been 10 fire fatalities for 2010.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Multiple Fatal Townhouse Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Wednesday, September 22, 2010, at approximately 8:30 a.m. in the Lorton area of Fairfax County. The townhouse is located at 9639 Hagel Court.

Firefighters arrived on scene with heavy fire showing from the front door and all windows of the two-story townhouse. The townhouse was fully involved with fire. The Incident Commander struck a second alarm bringing over 60 firefighters to the incident. Several calls to 911 indicated there were several children trapped inside the end unit townhouse. At the scene, firefighters found three children and an adult outside the structure who had been lowered from the second floor by an adult inside the structure. The rescued individuals, an adult male, six and eight year-old boys, and a two month-old girl were taken to the Washington Hospital Burn Center. Their injuries are not life-threatening.

Firefighters conducted an offensive attack on the fire of the all-brick structure and did a primary search of both floors. During the search, three victims were discovered.  One adult and two children perished in the fire. It took firefighters approximately 60 minutes to bring the fire under control. Approximately 18 occupants from the five unit townhouse structure have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting all the displaced occupants. Four firefighters received non-life threatening injuries. 

Names of the deceased will be released pending notification of next of kin and determination of cause of death by the Medical Examiner. The townhouse is a complete loss. There was minor smoke and water damage to adjacent townhomes and loss of electricity.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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

Last Modified: Monday, August 29, 2011

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