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Fair Oaks Apartment Fire Extinguished by Sprinkler

Fire officials say a kitchen fire last week in a Fair Oaks home was accidental, caused by unattended food on the stove. The incident occurred last Tuesday, Aug. 28, around 7:30 p.m. in a garden apartment at 4104 Monument Court.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units quickly responded, but firefighters reported that an oil fire on the stove had primarily been extinguished by the apartment’s sprinkler system. While there, the firefighters also checked for any extension of the flames in that home and in adjacent units.

The apartment’s two occupants were treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The blaze displaced one adult and one child. In light of the fire’s cause, the fire department offers the following kitchen safety tips to local residents:

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.

  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking. Long, loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.

  • Keep things that can catch fire—such as dish towels, curtains or paper—at least three feet away from the stove.

  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If it’s necessary to leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.

  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall, to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.

  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.

  • Regularly clean cooking equipment so it has no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation on it.

  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it’s completely cool.

  • If there’s an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning people and clothing. Have the oven serviced before using it again.