|Firefighters put out a fire at a house on Nevius Street. [FCFRD]|
The bigger fire occurred at single-family house at 8474 Ararat Court in the Strathmeade Springs neighborhood on Friday, Feb. 5. When the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department arrived at approximately 4:30 p.m., they encountered smoke coming from the rear deck of the two-story house.
One resident who was home at the time sustained a minor burn injury but was not taken to a hospital. Four occupants were displaced.
Fire investigators determined the fire was caused by a cooking mishap. A pan on the stove top caught fire, was carried outside, and placed on a plastic table on the deck. The table melted and ignited the deck. The fire spread to the house, causing damage estimated at $271,250.
The house had working smoke alarms, but the alarms sound after the occupant had already discovered the fire.
The other fire happened Sunday, Feb. 5, at a single-family house at 3329 Nevius St. in the Seven Corners/Bailey’s Crossroads area. Two occupants were displaced; one of them was transported to Fairfax Hospital with a minor burn injury.
When firefighters arrived at approximately 4:15 p.m., they found smoke and fire coming from the carport area of the ranch-style home. According to fire investigators, the fire was caused by improperly disposed fireplace ashes in the carport. Damage is estimated at $70,000.
The house had smoke alarms but they did not activate. A neighbor alerted the residents to the fire, allowing the occupants to escape. They are receiving assistance from the Red Cross.
The fire department offers these kitchen and fireplace safety tips:
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food is being prepared.
- Avoid wearing long, loose sleeves when cooking.
- Keep dish towels, curtains, and paper at least three feet away from the stove.
- Do not leave cooking food unattended. Turn off the stove if you leave the kitchen.
- Turn pot handles inward, toward the wall.
- Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on the mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
- In the case of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- Do not discard fireplace ashes into any combustible container, such as a paper or plastic bag, cardboard box, or a plastic trash can. Use a metal container with a lid.
- Do not place ash containers on decks, porches, or in garages.
- Keep the ash container outside, away from anything combustible and pour water in it.