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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 10-116
Date: December 29, 2010

Accidental Lorton House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire Tuesday, December 28, 2010, at approximately 8:40 p.m. in the Lorton area of Fairfax County. The townhouse is located at 7677 Sheffield Village Lane.

Firefighters saw heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the two-story home upon arrival. The Incident Commander struck a second alarm as there was risk the fire would spread to other adjoining townhouses. Approximately 60 firefighters responded to the fire scene. The occupants were home when the fire broke out and escaped unharmed. It took firefighters approximately 15 minutes to bring the fire under control. Two adults and three children have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting the family. There were no injuries.

The townhouse is a total loss. Additionally, two adjacent townhouses each received approximately $15,000 in damages.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An electrical anomaly in an attached shed containing an electrical panel caused the fire.

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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