Accidental Kingstowne Townhouse Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 12-90
Date:  November 19, 2012

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Saturday, November 17, 2012, at approximately 8:10 a.m., in the Kingstowne area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 7749 Desiree Street, Alexandria.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the top two floors and attic of the middle unit, three-story townhouse upon arrival. The Incident Commander struck a second alarm due to the volume of fire and the potential for rapid spreading of fire to multiple townhouses on both sides of the involved unit. Firefighters conducted both an exterior and interior fire attack, bringing the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes. Firefighters were able to contain the fire to the townhouse where the fire originated. Two adults have been displaced. Red Cross support was not needed. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $165,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental.  The fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials on the rear 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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