After an early morning house fire in Ashburn displaces five and does $750,000 in damages, fire officials offer important, and potentially lifesaving reminders about grilling safely.
Just before 4:45 a.m. Sunday, September 1, 2019, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received several 9-1-1 calls reporting a house fire in the 22,000 block of Taylorstown Hunt Court. The 9-1-1 callers reported visible fire coming from the rear and second story of the home. Fire and rescue units from Brambleton, Kincora, South Riding, Arcola, Ashburn, Leesburg and command officers were dispatched to the scene.
Due to supplemental information from our dispatchers while enroute, Moorefield Engine 623 requested a Level 1 RIT assignment bringing additional units from Ashburn, Sterling Park, Brambleton and Fairfax County. Engine 623 was the first unit to arrive on scene and confirmed that all occupants were safely out of the house. Firefighters used hoselines to attack the fire in the rear of the home and utilized Ashburn’s ladder truck to extinguish the fire from above.
Once the bulk of fire was knocked down, personnel were permitted to enter the structure to attack the fire from the interior. However, conditions quickly deteriorated and due to the danger of structural collapse firefighters were withdrawn and continued fighting the fire from a safe position outside. After additional efforts from the exterior, firefighters were allowed to carefully re-enter the house and extinguish any residual fire.
The resident of the home was initially awakened by his security system but found no hazards. Shortly thereafter he heard a loud noise and his smoke alarms began sounding. He and his family safely evacuated and called 9-1-1. Due to extensive fire and water damage the five residents are displaced and will be staying with family members. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office investigation has determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, caused by improperly discarded grilling ashes on the rear deck of the home. The $750,000 damage estimate includes damages to structure as well as contents of the home.
Grill fires are preventable! Following just a few key safety tips can keep you and your family safe!
- Keep grills at least 15ft away from any structure and flammable materials.
- Soak wood chips, pellets, charcoal briquettes and ashes with water and always let ashes cool before disposing of them into a closed metal container. The metal container should be kept outside, a safe distance away from your home or any other structures.
- Smoker boxes that are used when grilling should also be treated with caution, emptying their contents carefully into the closed metal container and ensuring the box cools away from any flammable materials.
For additional fire prevention information visit www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal or contact Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager, at 571-258-3222.