Fire and Rescue News

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-49
Date: July 5, 2011

Accidental Herndon Townhouse Fire

 Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Monday, July 4, 2011, at approximately 1:15 p.m. in the Herndon area of Fairfax County. The townhouse is located at 2402 Misty Dawn Court.

Firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from the rear and light smoke coming from the front of the three-story townhome upon arrival. Fire was especially heavy to the rear near the deck area. Firefighters conducted an outside sweep of the townhouse with multiple hose lines knocking down the outside portion of the fire. Firefighters initiated an interior fire attack quickly bringing the fire under control and minimizing further fire damage. Fire had already spread into the eaves and onto the roof from the rear. There was some damage to adjacent townhouses. Three occupants have been displaced. Additionally, four adults from the adjacent units were also temporarily displaced. Red Cross assistance was declined. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $70,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Improperly discarded smoking materials in a plastic container on the deck caused the fire.

Discarded Smoking Materials Safety Tips

  • Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
  • Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.

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.
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Fairfax, VA 22030

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