Loudoun County Fire Officials Determine Cause, Offer Safety Tips after Ashburn House Fire Displaces Family of Four
At 3:25 p.m. on Sunday, February 9, 2020, Loudoun County’s Emergency Communications Center received several 9-1-1 calls reporting fire coming from the garage of a two story home in the 42,000 block of Ringneck Place in Ashburn. Fire and rescue units from Brambleton, Dulles South, Kirkpatrick Farms, Moorefield, Ashburn, Leesburg and Fairfax County, VA, were dispatched to the incident along with accompanying Command Officers.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find heavy fire and smoke conditions coming from the detached garage of a large, two story residence that was quickly spreading to the rear of the home and two vehicles in the driveway. The homeowners were located safely outside upon their arrival. Firefighters aggressively attacked the fire as crews on the exterior protected nearby homes from the heat and flames. Once inside the structure, it was determined that the fire had spread into the attic area. Secondary crews worked to extinguish the fire in the attic as truck crews opened up the walls to search for further extension. Once the fire was extinguished, firefighters remained on scene to help the family gather personal effects and assist the Fire Marshal’s Office in their investigation.
Four residents were transported to a local area hospital for evaluation of minor injuries. The residents were displaced from their home and are staying locally with family friends. There are no injuries to first responders.
The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause of the fire was accidental, due to ashes from a smoker being improperly discarded in the garage. The estimated dollar loss as a result of this incident is $736,000 to the primary fire structure and its contents. An additional $50,000 in exterior damages were reported at two of the neighboring homes for a total of $836,000 in fire damage.
Each year Loudoun County Firefighters respond to devastating fires that are caused by improper disposal of hot coals or ashes from fireplaces, wood stoves, pellet stoves, grills, fire pits and even cigarette butts. Residents must use caution when disposing of fireplace ashes or any hot materials in or around your home. It is critical to soak ashes thoroughly with water, in a metal container with a lid, and allow them to cool for 48 hours. The metal container should be kept outside, a safe distance away from your home or any other structure By taking these additional measures, you can help ensure these items are fully extinguished and do not pose a fire hazard to you or your neighbors.
Photos courtesy LCFR and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office