Week in Burke

Week in Burke

Improperly Discarded Fireplace Ashes Cause House Fire

On Sunday, March 4, at 7:19 a.m., fire units responded for a reported house fire in the 9500 block of Yardarm Lane in the Burke section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on scene of a two-story, single family home with heavy smoke showing from the garage area of the house. Firefighters quickly located and extinguished the fire. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries.

Three occupants were home at the time of the fire. One of the occupants noticed smoke inside the house, alerted the others, and called 9-1-1. All occupants safely evacuated prior to fire department arrival. Smoke alarms in the home activated after the fire was discovered.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in the garage. The cause of the fire was hot fireplace ashes that were placed inside a plastic container located in the garage.

Three occupants were displaced as a result of the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and accepted. Damages as a result of the fire are approximately $165,100.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department would like to remind all residents to be cautious and keep safety in mind when handling fireplace ashes. Following a few simple safety tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

  • Do not discard your ashes into any combustible container such as a paper or plastic bag, a cardboard box, or a plastic trash can.

  • Do not place ash containers on decks, porches, or in garages.

  • Put ashes into a non-combustible metal container with a lid.

  • Pour water into the container to make sure the ashes are cool.

  • Keep your can outside the home, away from your fireplace or stove and anything combustible.

  • Teach all family members to be safe with ashes from your fireplace or wood stove.