A fire Friday night caused an estimated $225,000 damage to a Centreville home and displaced a family of five. The residents were home at the time but, luckily, were able to escape unharmed.
"I was downstairs watching the basketball game [Wizards vs. Cavaliers] and my wife was upstairs in the bedroom, when she heard the smoke detector go off," said the husband, who asked that the family's name not be used. "She said, 'The house is on fire — get out!'"
The blaze started around 8:30 p.m. at 14374 Quail Pond Court in the Belle Pond community. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has determined that it was accidental. It started after a halogen lamp fell onto bed pillows and linens and ignited.
The family has three children, ages 16, 15 and 13, and the fire began in the corner, upstairs bedroom belonging to the 15-year-old. "I looked up, and the whole ceiling was covered with smoke," said the dad. "My daughter's bedroom was engulfed in flames."
Fortunately, she was in the basement with a friend when the fire broke out. It traveled rapidly and eventually burned the roof and entire top floor. Said the dad: "Once it got up in the attic and hit the insulation, it just took off."
Approximately 50 firefighters and rescue personnel from both Centreville fire stations, plus stations in Fair Oaks, Frying Pan and Oakton, rushed to the scene. Those arriving first encountered heavy fire and smoke coming from the second floor of the two-story home.
However, they conducted an aggressive attack and were able to bring the blaze under control in about 15 minutes. The American Red Cross aided the displaced residents, and the homeowners' insurance company quickly sent over workmen that night to board up the blown-out windows.