Grill Causes Fair Oaks Townhouse Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 12-55
Date:  July 31, 2012

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Monday, July 30, 2012, at approximately 10:30 p.m., in the Fair Oaks area of Fairfax County.  The single family townhouse is located at 12582 Garland Tree Court.

Firefighters encountered smoke and fire coming from the second floor deck in the rear of the two-story middle townhouse upon arrival.  The fire was rapidly spreading upwards into the eaves and attic, however, firefighters conducted an aggressive outside fire attack and quickly extinguished the fire.  There was minor fire extension into the home.  Four adults and two children have been displaced.  There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at more than $10,000.

The fire was accidental, an unattended 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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