Candle Causes Lorton House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 12-23
Date:  April 9, 2012 

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire, Saturday, April 7, 2012, at approximately 4:50 p.m. in the Lorton area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 9204 Forest Greens Drive.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the entire two-story home upon arrival.  The Incident Commander struck a second alarm, bringing over 60 firefighters to the fire scene.  Firefighters battled the fire from the interior and exterior; however, the volume of fire was so overwhelming and intense the order to withdraw all inside crews was given. The second floor collapsed minutes later. Firefighters fought the fire from the exterior using elevated master streams. Firefighters brought the fire under control in approximately 25 minutes. Additionally, the residual heat of the fire caused major damage to the vinyl siding to an adjacent home. The high winds also started several brush fires nearby.

A neighbor is credited with rescuing the occupants of the home, two female adults, a juvenile, and dog. The neighbor called 911 and then entered the home to alert occupants, helping them to safety prior to firefighters arriving on scene. Three adults, a juvenile, and a dog have been displaced. Red Cross support was declined by the family. One firefighter was transported for a non-life threatening injury.

The home is a total loss.

According fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An unattended candle on the wraparound front porch caused the fire.

Candle Safety Tips

  • Do not place candles near combustible materials.
  • Place candles in glass or ceramic containers.
  • Place candles on a flat, sturdy surface.
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with an open flame candle.
  • Do not place candles on window ledges or near entryways. The potential air draft can “fan” the flame, catching curtains or other materials on fire.
  • Do keep burning candles within sight at all times. Candles can present fire hazards outdoors on decks and patios as well as inside your home.
  • Always extinguish candles before leaving the home.
  • Place all candles on a protected, heat resistant, dry surface away from anything that can catch fire and out of the reach of children and pets.

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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