Lorton Fire Victim Identified

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

News Release 14-57
Date:  May 28, 2014

Mary Ann Brookie, 34, of 8228 Catbird Circle, Lorton, has been identified as the victim in the fatal apartment fire, May 27, 2014.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Improperly discarded smoking materials 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.


Fatal Lorton Garden Apartment Fire

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a fatal garden apartment fire Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at approximately 2:25 p.m., in the Lorton area of Fairfax County. The garden apartment is located at 8228 Catbird Circle. The deceased is an adult female.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the third floor of the four-story building upon arrival. The fire quickly spread to the fourth floor, attic, and roof despite valiant efforts by multiple firefighting crews. The Incident Commander struck a second, third, and eventually a fourth fire alarm. Approximately 160 firefighters responded to the scene, including units from Fort Belvoir and Prince William County. Firefighters also made several rescues using ground ladders early on during the incident. Firefighters brought the fire under control approximately two hours later. Twelve apartment units received severe fire and other collateral damage. A total of 36 residents have been displaced. Red Cross, Office of Emergency Management, and apartment management are assisting the displaced occupants. Six firefighters had minor, non-life threatening injuries fighting the fire. One resident was treated by paramedics at the scene; however, not transported.

Damage is estimated at $1M and considered a total loss.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The name of the deceased will be released pending notification of next of kin. The medical examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

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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