An electrical strip containing Christmas lights near a Christmas tree caused a fire at 3708 Prosperity Ave., Annandale, Dec. 10, that caused an estimated $100,000 in damages, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported.
The occupants of the single-family home were out when the fire started but returned home shortly afterwards. Firefighters arrived at approximately 11:30 p.m. and extinguished the fire in 10 minutes. One of the owners attempted to rescue the family dog trapped inside but was unable to because of the heavy smoke throughout the house, and the dog perished. The occupant was treated at the scene for non-life threatening injuries. No one else was hurt.
The fire department offers the following Christmas tree safety tips:
- Keep the tree base immersed in water.
- Do not permit smoking near the tree.
- Use only lights that with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label.
- Use flame retardant decorations and paper.
- Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs, and defective sockets.
- Unplug lights at night and when leaving the home.
- Remove the tree soon after the holidays, before the needles dry out.