A smoke detector may have saved the lives of a Springfield family, which is now homeless after a two-alarm blaze swept through their Edinburgh Drive townhouse.
The blaze occurred on Tuesday, around 3 a.m., and the family inside became alerted when smoke alarms went off.
"My wife woke me up and we decided to get out of there soon," said Larry Young, who lived in the townhouse with his wife and two children. Young said he and his wife saw thick smoke in the home and realized it was a heavy fire.
According to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, the blaze caused $400,000 in damage, and it took firefighters approximately 45 minutes to bring under control.
"We definitely see more fires during the winter months, November, December, and January," said Fire and Rescue spokesperson Renee Stilwell. "It's devastating any time of the year, but especially this time of year.
One firefighter received a minor injury while battling the blaze and was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital. The injuries were not life-threatening, said Stilwell.
First arriving units saw smoke and heavy fire coming from windows and the attic of the three-story townhouse.
"It's tragic. This is tragic. You never think it will happen," said Shamiko Harley, a friend of the Young family who lives nearby.
Young said he and his family escaped from the townhouse with just their keys, a purse and little else. A suitcase of Christmas clothes, along with a few other Christmas presents may be salvageable, said Young. The Red Cross is providing assistance, and Young said he and his family will stay at a hotel for a few nights.
"After that, who knows?" he said.