Fire and Rescue News

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 11-64
Date:  August 29, 2011

Smoke Alarms Alert Occupants to Apartment Fire

 Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a garden apartment fire, Sunday, August 27, 2011, at approximately 2:30 a.m., in the Penn Daw area of Fairfax County. The multi-family garden apartment is located at 6651 Tower Drive, Alexandria, apartment number 203.

Firefighters reported smoke showing from the third floor of the three-story apartment upon arrival. The Incident Commander called for a second alarm because of high winds and the potential for the fire to quickly spread to other apartment units in the structure. Approximately 60 firefighters responded to the emergency. It took firefighters approximately 20 minutes to extinguish the fire. Firefighters conducted an aggressive offensive fire attack and were able to confine the fire to two bedrooms. Early warning by sounding smoke alarms allowed occupants to escape the building unharmed. Firefighters also used ladders to assist occupants in exiting the building. Two adults and one child have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting the family. There were no injuries.

Damage estimate is $60,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. The cause of the fire was clothing too close to a nearby lamp (at the time of the fire, the power had been off, and then restored).

Lamp Safety Tips

  • Always buy a certified lamp such as the Underwriters Laboratories or CSA International, as they provide standards to ensure safety.
  • Keep combustible materials at least three feet from halogen lamps and consider not using them in areas where they might be tipped or overturned.
  • Never place lamps near windows, beds, or an area where fabric may hang near the top of the lamp.
  • Before using the light, ensure you are using the recommended bulb; the wrong bulb can cause the lamp to shatter.
  • Shut off the lamp when you leave the room or area.

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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