Accidental West Centreville Townhouse Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 12-59
Date:  August 16, 2012

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Thursday, August 16, 2012, at approximately 12:05 a.m., in the West Centreville area of Fairfax County. The single family townhouse is located at 14428 Salisbury Plain Court.

Firefighters saw fire and smoke coming from the two-story middle townhouse upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive interior fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 10 minutes. Smoke alarms provided early warning for the occupant, allowing her to escape unharmed, however, two birds and a cat perished in the fire. One adult female has been displaced. There were no other injuries. Red Cross support was not necessary.

Damage is estimated at $50,000.

According to the Officer In Charge, the fire was accidental. An electrical anomaly in a light fixture in a bedroom caused the fire.

Electrical Safety Tips

  • Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on all electrical devices.
  • Avoid overloading outlets. Plug only one high-wattage appliance into each receptacle outlet at a time.
  • If your power goes out a lot or the lights in your home flicker, smell bad, or make noise, have an electrician come in to inspect your wiring.   
  • The electrical outlet in the bathroom should have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI).  This is a tool that protects you from dangerous shock when water and electricity come together.  An electrician can install a GFCI for you.
  • All electrical outlets and switches should be covered by “face plates.”
  • When possible, avoid the use of “cube taps” and other devices that allow the connection of multiple appliances into a single receptacle.
  • Inspect electrical cords to make sure they are in good condition.
  • Consider having additional circuits or outlets added by a qualified electrician so you do not have to use extension cords.
  • Don’t tie or knot electrical cords.
  • Don’t let furniture sit on electrical cords.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for plugging an appliance into a receptacle outlet.

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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