Smoking Materials Cause Alexandria Apartment Fire


Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

 Date:  February 20, 2015

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to a garden apartment fire Thursday, February 19, 2015, at approximately 10:10 p.m., in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County. The apartment is located at 5589 Callcott Way.

Firefighters encountered fire on the exterior of a five-story garden apartment upon arrival. Firefighters conducted an aggressive fire attack and quickly brought the fire under control. The fire had extended from the mulched area into an interior common wall separating two apartments. Three adults have been displaced. Red Cross support was offered but declined by the occupants. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $5,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. Improperly discarded smoking materials into the mulched area 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.
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News Release 15-30


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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