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Public Safety - Fire and Rescue

Posted on: April 19, 2017

Smoking Materials Cause Another Loudoun County House Fire

For Additional Information:
Laura Rinehart, Public Information Officer
[email protected] or 571-233-1649
April 19, 2017

For Immediate Release:
Smoking Materials Cause Another Loudoun County House Fire

            South Riding, VA. – Fire Department officials stress fire safety vigilance after another house fire is attributed to improperly discarded smoking materials.

            Just after 2:00a.m., Wednesday, April 19th, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call for a structure fire in the 25000 block of Herring Creek Drive in South Riding. The caller reported the rear deck and back of their home was on fire. Units from South Riding, Arcola, and Fairfax County were immediately dispatched to the location. First arriving units found active fire on the deck of the three-story townhome with fire extending up the rear.  Firefighters advanced hose lines to the back of the home and quickly extinguished the fire.  Additional crews searched the interior and attic of the home but found no fire extension. 

            The family of five were awoken and alerted to the fire by their smoke alarms, giving them precious seconds to get outside and call 9-1-1. The residents will be temporarily displaced but required no Red Cross assistance. There were no injuries as a result of this incident.    

            The Fire Marshal determined the fire to have been caused by improperly discarded smoking materials on the deck causing approximately $50,000 in damages.

                Per the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, pipes, etc.) are the leading cause of fire deaths in the United States.  You can avoid becoming a statistic by following some simple safety measures:

  • If you smoke, smoke outside.
  • Put your cigarette out in a metal or ceramic container filled with sand or use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water to make sure they are really out before you put them in the trash.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
  • Be alert! Don’t smoke if you’re sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medication that causes drowsiness.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children's sight and reach.

            Additionally, the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office recommends that every residence have working smoke alarms on each level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.  Loudoun County Fire and Rescue’s “Put a Finger on It” smoke alarm program offers free home safety surveys and smoke alarms Loudoun County residents.  If your smoke alarms are broken or outdated we will replace them with battery powered alarms at no cost and install additional alarms as necessary.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the department hotline 703-737-8093 or visit www.loudoun.gov/smokealarms.  


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