Accidental Alexandria Townhouse Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 12-38
Date:  May 29, 2012 

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire Sunday, May 27, 2012, at approximately 10 p.m. in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The townhouse is located at 4311 Gypsy Court.

Firefighters saw smoke and fire coming from the rear of the second floor deck extending up the outside of the home and into the attic area. Firefighters initiated an aggressive fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 10 minutes.

Two adults and one child have been displaced. The family did not require assistance from the Red Cross. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $50,000.

The cause of the fire has been determined to be improperly disposed smoking material in a planter on the rear of the second story deck.

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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