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Brief: Accidental Apartment Fire in Mount Vernon

— Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units responded to an apartment fire, on Sept. 22, at approximately 10:05 a.m. in the Mount Vernon area of Fairfax County. The garden apartment is located at 7947 Richmond Highway.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the top floor and eaves of the three-story apartment upon arrival. The incident commander struck a second alarm, bringing approximately 60 firefighters to the scene. Firefighters brought the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes. Firefighters were able to confine the fire to the apartment of origin. Firefighters ensured all occupants of the apartment complex were evacuated. Seventeen occupants were evacuated during the fire, and all were allowed to return later. Two adults and one child have been displaced. The occupants were not at home when the fire broke out. The apartment management company was able to make a nearby vacant apartment for the displaced family available. There were no injuries.

Damage is estimated at $60,000.

According to fire investigators, the fire was accidental. A halogen lamp too close to combustibles caused the fire.

The fire department issued the following safety tips:

  • Keep at least three feet of clearance between an alternate heating source and anything combustible.

  • Do not store combustible materials in closed areas or near a heat source.