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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-001
Date: January 3, 2011

Candle Causes Basement House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire Wednesday, December 28, 2010, at approximately 4:50 p.m., in the Baileys Crossroads area of Fairfax County. The home is located at 6010 Columbia Pike.

Firefighters saw smoke and fire coming from the front and rear of the first floor and basement of the ranch-style home upon arrival. Firefighters fought the fire on both levels as the fire extended from the basement to the first floor. While in the basement, firefighters encountered an active gas meter that continued to feed the fire and caused additional damage to the upstairs. A second alarm was struck by the Incident Commander, bringing over 60 emergency personnel to the scene. The fire was brought under control in approximately 30 minutes. Six adults and two children have been displaced. None of the occupants were at home when the fire started. A dog and one fish perished in the fire. Red Cross is assisting the occupants.

Damage is estimated at $200,000.

According to fire investigators, the cause of the fire was accidental. An unattended candle in the basement caused the fire.

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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