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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 10-115
Date: December 28, 2010

Accidental Two-Alarm Commercial Building Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a commercial building fire Sunday, December 27, 2010, at approximately 11:40 a.m., in the Herndon area of Fairfax County. The structure, Public Storage, is located at 2921 Centreville Rd.

Firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke coming from several open storage units located on the first level of the main building upon arrival. A second alarm was struck by the incident commander, which included the Hazardous Materials Response Team, bringing approximately 70 emergency personnel to the scene. The fire quickly spread to multiple individual storage units and subsequently the second floor of the main building collapsed. The two-story building contained 200 storage units, approximately 75 percent of those units received varying amounts of damage, including smoke, fire, and water damage. Due to the collapse of the second floor and emminent additional collapses, crews were pulled out of the interior of the structure and conducted an exterior fire attack. It took firefighters several hours to bring the fire under control. After the fire was brought under control, firefighters remained on scene to perform overhaul and salvage operations and douse multiple spontaneous flare-ups. One adult received a non-life threatening injury and was treated at the scene.

Damage is estimated at $1.6 million.

According to fire investigators, the cause of the fire was accidental. A halogen lamp placed too close to combustible materials caused the fire.

Halogen Lamp Safety Tips

  • Always buy a certified lamp such as the Underwriters Laboratories or CSA International, as they provide standards to ensure safety

  • Keep combustible materials at least three feet from halogen lamps and consider not using them in areas where they might be tipped or overturned.

  • Never place lamps near windows, beds, or an area where fabric may hang near the top of the lamp.

  • Before using the light, ensure you are using the recommended bulb; the wrong bulb can cause the lamp to shatter.

  • Shut off the lamp when you leave the room or area.

  • 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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