Fire investigators have yet to determine the cause of a fire early Sunday afternoon that destroyed two townhouses and damaged a third in Reston and left six people homeless, said a spokesman for Fairfax County Fire and Rescue.
“No one was home at the time the fire started,” said Fairfax fire Lt. Jeff Trice. The fire caused $1.75 million in damages.
Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in about 35 minutes, said Trice. Two firefighters sustained minor injuries, but one needed to be taken to the hospital, according to Trice.
The blaze broke out just before 2:20 p.m., but firefighters were still at the 11268 and 11270 Fairwind Way townhouses six hours later dousing hotspots in the blackened, smoky ruins. The townhouse at 11266 sustained heavy water damage.
Beth Konig, who lives about eight townhouses down the street, said she first saw the fire after responding to screaming outside. “I saw a neighbor walking with their kids, and the kids were screaming,” said Konig, who was surprised at how fast the fire spread.
After escorting her neighbor and the children away from the fire, Konig looked back at the fire. “By the time I got back to my house, it was totally engulfed in flames,” she said, adding that there was “thick, black smoke everywhere.”
Within minutes, Fairwind Way was filled with fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, according to Konig and her husband, Stephen.
“They were here very, very quickly,” said Konig.
Trice said at least 30 emergency vehicles, which spilled beyond Fairwind Way and onto most of Moorings Drive, arrived on the scene. “Heavy smoke and fire were showing when they arrived,” said Trice.
More than 90 firefighters helped extinguish the fire.
“I hope they're able to determine what caused it,” said Stephen Konig, wondering out loud if it might have been a faulty wire or something else preventable. “We should all have our houses checked, if it was something like that.”
“The important thing is everybody is all right,” said Beth Konig.
The American Red Cross assisted the three displaced families to find temporary shelter.
This is Reston’s third townhouse fire in the past year.