Smoking Materials Cause House Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 14-30
Date:  March 24, 2014

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a house fire Sunday, March 23, 2014, at approximately 3:55 a.m., in the Fairview area of Fairfax County. The single-family home is located at 5338 Jennifer Drive.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the two-story home upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack from the exterior and interior of the home preventing major fire extension throughout the home. The fire was brought under control in approximately 15 minutes. All six occupants escaped unharmed prior to firefighters arriving. Smoke alarms were present; however, did not activate. Four adults and two children have been displaced. Red Cross is supporting the displaced occupants. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $50,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Improperly discarded smoking materials on the deck 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.
4100 Chain Bridge Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

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