Unattended Cooking Causes Springfield House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 12-62
Date:  August 27, 2012

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire, Saturday, August 25, 2012, at approximately 7:45 p.m., in the Springfield area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 6605 Forsythia Street.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from two sides of the home upon arrival. Due to the large volume of fire, the Incident Commander struck a second alarm, bringing over 60 firefighters to the fire scene. It took firefighters approximately 30 minutes to bring the fire under control. Firefighters conducted extensive salvage and overhaul operations, extinguishing multiple hotspots throughout the house. Two adults have been displaced. Two firefighters were transported to area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries. Red Cross is assisting the occupants.

Damage is estimated at $200,000.

According to fire investigators, the cause of the fire was accidental. Unattended food on the stove caused the fire.

Kitchen Safety Tips

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight fitting sleeves when cooking. Long loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains, or paper, at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

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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