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Fires Displace 10 Residents

Two residential fires struck the Mount Vernon/Lee districts area within the past week causing an estimated $230,000 in damages and displacing six adults and four children. Both were attributed to accidental causes, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

Firefighters responded to a call at approximately 1:15 p.m. on Feb. 21 at a townhouse located on Oaklake Court in the Woodlawn area of southeastern Fairfax County. Upon arrival they found fire and smoke coming from the basement and first floor.

"There was heavy fire and water damage to the basement and significant smoke damage to the remainder of the home. It took firefighters approximately 10 minutes to bring the fire under control," said Daniel L. Schmidt, departmental public information officer.

There were no reported injuries but damage was estimated at $200,000. The cause was determined to be a hair blow-dryer left on a bed.

Two adults and three children were displaced by the blaze. They are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

The other fire occurred on Feb. 16 at approximately 5:50 a.m. in a three-story garden apartment building located on Arlington Drive in the Mount Vernon area. Again there were no injuries, but four adults and two children were displaced.

First arriving units reported heavy smoke visible from the structure's third floor. An additional alarm was dispatched bringing more than 60 emergency personnel to the scene, according to fire department officials. They brought the fire under control in approximately 10 minutes.

Cause of the blaze was determined to be accidental spontaneous combustion caused by "oily towels left of top of a heated dryer," according to the public information office. Damage was estimated at $30,000.