On Monday, April 1 at 12:03 a.m., Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department units were dispatched for a reported hotel fire in the 12100 block of Monument Drive in the Fair Oaks area of Fairfax County.
Crews arrived on scene of a two-story hotel with smoke evident from the roof. Fire was rapidly found inside a column going up the exterior of the building. A second alarm was immediately requested due to fire location and significant wind gusts up to 31 mph. Units aggressively placed fire hose lines in service from the first floor to the roof and quickly checked for any extension of the fire. The fire was quickly extinguished. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries reported.
Occupants smelled an odor of smoke and upon further investigation observed smoke coming from the building. One notified security and called 9-1-1. Another occupant attempted to alert the remaining hotel guests of the fire. All occupants self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival. The fire sprinkler system and the smoke alarms did not activate due to the location of the fire on the exterior of the hotel.
Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental in nature and started in in a mulch bed. The cause of the fire was the ignition of mulch by improperly discarded smoking materials.
A total of twenty occupants were displaced because of the fire. Hotel management was able to relocate each occupant. Red Cross assistance was not needed. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $20,000.
So far in 2019, there have been nine significant fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials! Monetary damages for the nine fires is approximately $914,963.
All nine fires were totally preventable. Spring Into Safety and “Sink It or Soak It!”
The members of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department want to help eliminate this totally preventable cause of fire and keep Fairfax County safe! If you smoke, or know someone who does, please take a moment to learn how to prevent starting a fire.