Grill Causes Falls Church Carport Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 13-46
Date:  April, 29, 2013

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a carport fire Sunday, April 28, 2013, at approximately 11:05 a.m., in the Falls Church area of Fairfax County. The carport was located at 6722b Westcott Road.

Firefighters reported heavy fire coming from a detached carport to the rear of a single family home upon arrival. Crews conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly extinguished the fully involved carport and nearby shed. However, the intense heat and close proximity to nearby homes resulted in the melting of vinyl siding to two homes and caused extensive damage to four vehicles. Propane tanks inside the carport also ruptured causing several explosions. No one was home when the fire broke out. No one has been displaced. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $45,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. A barbeque grill too close to combustibles caused the fire.

Grill Safety Tips

  • Grills should be placed at least 15 feet from any home, building, or combustibles to ensure adequate air circulation.
  • Charcoal must be kept dry. Wet charcoal can spontaneously ignite. Spare propane bottles should be stored outside away from the home. A backyard shed is a good place.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill. Grills continue to give off heat long after cooking has stopped.
  • Never place hot ashes in paper or plastic bags or containers. Only use metal containers for hot ashes.
  • Use Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved electrical starters in place of lighter fluid.
  • Never use a gas or charcoal fueled grill on apartment or condominium balconies, doing so is against the law. However, electric grills listed by a recognized testing authority may be used on balconies.

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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