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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-005
Date: January 18, 2011

Accidental Two-Alarm Springfield Townhouse Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Saturday, January 22, 2011, at approximately 7:55 a.m. in the Springfield area of Fairfax County. The townhouse is located at 6827 Clowser Court.

Firefighters saw heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the two-story, end unit townhouse upon arrival. As several firefighters entered the front door to attack the seat of the fire, the crew reported a flashover of fire in front and behind them. Backup exterior crews quickly entered the front of the home and assisted the surrounded firefighters to safety. The occupants were inside the home and were able to escape prior to firefighters arriving. The Incident Commander struck a second alarm, bringing approximately 60 firefighters to the scene. It took firefighters approximately 15 minutes to bring the fire under control. The fire started in the kitchen, however, the fire spread and resulted in residual damage throughout both floors of the home. Smoke alarms were present in the home, but did not activate. A total of three adults, and one youth have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting the displaced occupants. One adult female occupant was medevaced to the Washington Hospital Burn Center for life-threatening injuries. Two other adults were treated at the scene but were not transported. Four firefighters were transported to Inova Fairfax Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Damage is estimated at approximately $200,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Food left unattended on the stove caused the fire.

Cooking Safety Tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. Loose clothing can dangle onto stove burners and catch fire.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—potholders, towels, or curtains—away from your stovetop.
  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

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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