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Two Fires Force Dozens Out of Homes

The cause of one blaze was an unattended candle.

More then 50 people were displaced by residential fires in Mount Vernon District over the past week. A Nov. 13 apartment blaze routed 22 families while a private home fire drove out six adults and two children Wednesday night, Nov. 16.

In the first instance, Fairfax County Fire & Rescue units responded to a three-story, garden-style apartment building fire, located at 2621 Arlington Drive, at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. It was brought under control within 30 minutes, according to Daniel Schmidt, public information officer, FCF&R Department.

First-arriving units reported heavy smoke coming from the third floor and attic area. An additional alarm was requested bringing more than 60 firefighting personnel to the scene.

All building residents successfully evacuated prior to the arrival of the firefighters. Some residents are now being assisted by the Red Cross with temporary housing, according to authorities.

A total of 11 apartments were damaged. The top four units received fire, water and smoke damage. The lower-level units were damaged by smoke and water, according to Schmidt.

According to fire investigators the cause of the blaze was an unattended candle in one of the top floor units. Damage has been estimated at $750,000.

The second fire, at 7122 Rita Court, occurred at approximately 1:50 a.m. Fire investigators determined it to be accidentally caused by "an electrical anomaly in the garage" area of the single-family residence. Damage is estimated at $70,000.

Arriving units observed fire and smoke coming from the garage. Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control before it spread into the home. However, the deck to the rear of the residence also caught fire and sustained major damage, according to Schmidt.

There were no reported injuries. The family is also being provided with temporary shelter from the American Red Cross.