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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 10-111
Date: December 13, 2010

Sprinklers Douse Two Structure Fires

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to two fires Saturday, December 11, 2010, in the Oakton and Great Falls areas of Fairfax County. In both fires, sprinklers activated controlling the fires and keeping property damage to a minimum.

Firefighters responded to Oakton High School, 2900 Sutton Road, at approximately 11:55 a.m., with reported smoke in a locker room. The fire was quickly controlled by sprinklers. An electric dryer in the rear of the locker room caused the fire. Water and smoke damage was confined to the locker room, including a washer and dryer. There were no injuries.

Firefighters responded to a house fire, 476 River Bend Road, Great Falls, at approximately 4:45 p.m., with fire and smoke in the attic area. Prior to firefighters arriving, water from the sprinkler system activated, providing early fire protection and minimizing the property damage. Firefighters did extensive overhaul to ensure there was no additional fire in walls, rafters, or elsewhere in the attic area. Fire damage was confined to an approximately 50 square foot area in the attic. There were no injuries.

The installation of sprinklers provides critical early protection to property, and potentially serious injury or fire death to occupants inside a structure. Sprinklers are designed to extinguish and control fire before it evolves into flashover, the point at which rapid flame spreads and deadly heat and smoke are produced. Sprinkler systems will control a fire and provide life-saving time for occupants to escape. 

Virginia has not adopted mandatory residential sprinkler use in homes. However, the Virginia Building Code Officials Association and the Home Fire Safety Council support mandatory sprinkler use.

For more information on residential sprinklers, contact the Fairfax County Fire Marshal's Office, 703-246-4753.

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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