Accidental Alexandria Duplex Fire (Safety In Our Community Smoke Alarm Alerts Occupant)

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 14-07
Date:  January 15, 2014

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire, Tuesday, January 14, 2014, at approximately 12:45 p.m., in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The duplex is located at 7035 Stanford Drive.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke coming from the two-story duplex upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly brought the fire under control. A smoke alarm provided early warning to the occupant and her dog, both escaping unharmed. Four adults and six children have been displaced. Red Cross is assisting the displaced occupants.

Firefighters from Fire and Rescue Station 11, Penn Daw, installed a smoke alarm sometime last year as part of the department's Safety In Our Community program. Damage is estimated at $20,000.

According to the incident commander, 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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