Fire and Rescue News

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-55
Date: August 1, 2011

Grill Causes House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire Friday, July 29, 2011, at approximately 6:05 p.m. in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 7816 Ridgecrest Drive.

Firefighters encountered heavy fire and smoke coming from the rear of the two-story home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack just as the fire was spreading to the attic and roof. It took firefighters approximately 50 minutes to bring the fire under control. A family of two adults and three children have been displaced. Red Cross assistance was declined. One adult female was transported to INOVA Fairfax Hospital with non-life threatening burn injuries. One firefighter was also transported for a non-life threatening injury and later released.

Damage is estimated at $50,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. A propane grill on the deck caused the fire.

Grill Safety Tips

  • Grills should be placed at least 15 feet from any home, building, or combustibles to ensure adequate air circulation.
  • Charcoal must be kept dry. Wet charcoal can spontaneously ignite. Spare propane bottles should be stored outside away from the home. A backyard shed is a good place.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill. Grills continue to give off heat long after cooking has stopped.
  • Never place hot ashes in paper or plastic bags or containers. Only use metal containers for hot ashes.
  • Use Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved electrical starters in place of lighter fluid.
  • Never use a gas or charcoal fueled grill on apartment or condominium balconies, doing so is against the law. However, electric grills listed by a recognized testing authority may be used on balconies.

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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