Accidental Transformer Fire Displaces Occupants

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 14-52
Date:  May 27, 2014

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and Arlington County Fire Department units responded to an apartment fire Friday, May 23, 2014, at approximately 9:20 p.m., in the Seven Corners area. The mid-rise apartment, Lockwood House, is located at 600 North Madison Avenue.

Firefighters encountered fire coming from an outside transformer with fire extending into the first floor electrical room of the four-story, independent living apartment building upon arrival. Firefighters used hose lines to control and keep in check the gas fed fire until all gas and electrical utilities could be controlled. Firefighters quickly evacuated all of the residents.

A third fire alarm was requested bringing approximately 100 firefighters to the scene. Firefighters went door-to-door to all of the approximately 100 apartments checking for residents and assisting them in self-evacuation and those needing help in evacuating. Residents were sheltered in a nearby church and a cafeteria at 550 North Madison Avenue. The Office of Emergency Management, Red Cross, and building management personnel assisted in sheltering all the residents. One occupant was transported for a non-life threatening injury unrelated to the fire.

On Sunday evening, May 25, 2014, power was restored, allowing all residents to return.

Damage is estimated at $500,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. The cause of the fire was an electrical anomaly involving the underground natural gas feed within the building.

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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