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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-012
Date: February 10, 2011

Accidental Chantilly House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire, Wednesday, February 9, 2011, at approximately 7 p.m. in the Chantilly area of Fairfax County.  The single family home is located at 4518 Silas Hutchinson Drive.

Firefighters saw fire and smoke coming from inside the split-level home upon arrival.  Firefighting crews conducted offensive fire operations on both levels of the home and brought the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes.  The fire originated in the fireplace located in the recreation room on the lower level and extended into the upper level of the home.  Two adults escaped the home prior to the arrival of firefighters and have been displaced from the home.  One adult female was treated at the scene by paramedics and was subsequently transported to Fair Oaks Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.  Red Cross support was declined by the occupants.  Smoke alarms were present in the home, however, it is unclear if they sounded.

Damage is estimated at $40,000.

According to fire investigators, the cause of the fire was accidental.  The fire originated in the chimney chase of the zero-clearance fireplace. 

Fireplace Safety Tips

  • Ensure that your chimney is cleaned and inspected by a licensed professional once a year.
  • A spark arrestor across the top of a chimney will prevent sparks from igniting your roof.
  • Use the proper fuel (seasoned hardwood, pellets, and gas/propane) for your type of system. Never use gasoline, kerosene, or other flammable liquids to start a fire.
  • Fireplaces should have a sturdy screen across the front to prevent embers from flying or logs from rolling out.
  • When clearing ashes from the fireplace, be sure to put them into a metal container with a lid—never into a cardboard box or paper bag.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions carefully.  Many “non-masonry” fireplace/chimney units have limitations on the amount of heat they can safely withstand.

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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