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Hot Exhaust Causes House Fire

A house fire April 10 in the Fairfax Center area caused an estimated $231,500 damage. Fairfax County fire officials say it began accidentally when the hot exhaust of a riding lawn tractor ignited nearby dry ground cover. Flames then quickly spread, catching the home’s siding on fire, as well.

The single, adult male occupant was home when the fire broke out and escaped unharmed, but he was displaced by the incident. In addition, three firefighters received non-life-threatening injuries battling the blaze, and one was flown to the Washington Hospital Burn Center for treatment.

Firefighters responded that afternoon, around 12:35 p.m., to a single-family home at 5105 Pheasant Ridge Road. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the garage and rear of the two-story structure. They conducted an exterior and interior attack, bringing the blaze under control in approximately 45 minutes.

Firefighters also acted to contain the outside brush fire that was moving to trees and other nearby homes. The incident commander struck a second alarm and another special alarm to ensure the protection of these other homes.

Fire officials say the garage posed a significant hazard to firefighters because of the storage of gasoline and vehicles in and near the garage. The home also contained several combustible items that hampered firefighting efforts.

— Bonnie Hobbs