Candle Causes Townhouse Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 13-1123
Date:  October 21, 2013

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a townhouse fire, Sunday, October 20, 2013, at approximately 3:20 a.m., in the Fairfax Center area of Fairfax County. The single family townhouse is located 1181 Laurel Lake Square.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the first floor and garage area of the middle unit, three-story townhouse upon arrival. As the fire was spreading to the second floor, firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and brought the fire under control in approximately 15 minutes. The three adults were home when the fire broke out escaped unharmed and have been displaced. The Red Cross is assisting the occupants. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $250,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. An unattended candle in the basement caused the fire.

Candle Safety Tips

  • Do not place candles near combustible materials.
  • Place candles in glass or ceramic containers.
  • Place candles on a flat, sturdy surface.
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with an open flame candle.
  • Do not place candles on window ledges or near entryways. The potential air draft can “fan” the flame, catching curtains or other materials on fire.
  • Do keep burning candles within sight at all times. Candles can present fire hazards outdoors on decks and patios as well as inside your home.
  • Always extinguish candles before leaving the home.
  • Place all candles on a protected, heat resistant, dry surface away from anything that can catch fire and out of the reach of children and pets.

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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