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Fire & Rescue: News Release
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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-026
Date: March 21, 2011

Smoke Alarm Alerts Resident to House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire Monday, March 21, 2011, at approximately 5:15 a.m. in the Springfield area of Fairfax County.  The single family home is located at 5901 Grayson Street.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the front and basement of the two-story home upon arrival.  Crews heard multiple popping noises as they were attacking the fire from the exterior with multiple lines.  Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in approximately 10 minutes prior to making entry into the home.   Upon further investigation, the popping noises were determined to be gun ammunition detonating in the basement. The ammunition “cooked off” as the fire became hotter.  One occupant, an adult male was alerted by a smoke alarm and escaped the home prior to firefighters arriving.  He was treated for a non-life threatening injury by paramedics at the scene.  Red Cross is assisting the occupant.

Damage is estimated at $30,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental.  The dryer in an unfinished laundry room caused the fire.

Clothes Dryer Safety Tips

  • Clean the lint filter before or after each load. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can be trapped.
  • The interior of the dryer and venting system should be cleaned periodically by qualified service personnel. If you notice the drying time is longer, clean the vent system thoroughly to ensure proper airflow.
  • Replace plastic, vinyl, and aluminum foil venting with rigid or flexible metal venting.
  • Do not dry clothing/fabric on or near anything flammable (alcohol, cooking oils, gasoline, spot removers, dry-cleaning solvents, etc.). Flammable substances give off vapors that could ignite or explode.
  • Have a functional smoke alarm placed in the laundry area (somewhere near the dryer).

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: Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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