Fire and Rescue News

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-50
Date: July 11, 2011

Two-Alarm Accidental Mount Vernon Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a garden apartment fire, Sunday, July 10, 2011, at approximately 3 a.m., in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County. The apartment is located at 7803 Belford Drive.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the middle and roof area of the three-story building upon arrival. Firefighters initiated an aggressive interior and exterior fire attack. The Incident Commander requested a second alarm, bringing over 60 firefighters to the emergency scene. It took firefighters approximately an hour to extinguish the fire. Extensive overall operations on the upper floor, attic, and roof area were conducted by firefighters. A total of 36 occupants have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting all the occupants. The building fire alarm provided early warning allowing everyone to escape unharmed.

Damage is to be determined.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An electrical event in the building caused the fire.

Electrical Safety Tips

  • Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  • If your power goes out a lot or the lights in your home flicker, smell bad, or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect your wiring.   
  • The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).  This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together.  An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
  • All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “face plates.”
  • When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
  • Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  • Don’t tie or knot electrical cords.
  • Don’t let furniture sit on electrical cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.

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

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