Smoking Materials Cause Mount Vernon House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 13-01
Date:  January 3, 2013

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire, Wednesday, January 2, 2013, at approximately 4:50 p.m. in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County.  The single family home is located at 819 Eden Court.

Firefighters reported heavy smoke and fire coming from the front windows and door of the split level home upon arrival.  Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack while simultaneously coordinating a thorough search throughout the home.  Once firefighters made entry into the home, a dog quickly escaped unharmed.  No one else was inside the home.  It took firefighters approximately 15 minutes to bring the fire under control.  Firefighters conducted extensive overhaul and salvage operations throughout the home.  Three adults have been displaced.  Red Cross support was declined.  There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $150,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental.  Discarded smoking materials caused the fire.

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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