Chantilly House Fire Causes $185,000 Damage

Chantilly House Fire Causes $185,000 Damage

Fire officials say improperly discarded smoking materials caused a house fire, March 21, in Chantilly. The blaze displaced three occupants and did an estimated $185,000 damage.

Firefighters were dispatched at 5:45 p.m. to the 13800 block of Leighfield St. First-arriving units discovered a two-story, single-family home there with fire and heavy smoke showing. Crews found an exterior fire in the back of the house had extended to the interior and the attic.

According to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, a passerby noticed smoke coming from the house and tried to notify anyone inside it. Getting no response, the passerby then called 9-1-1. None of the occupants were home at the time, but a dog with no apparent injuries was rescued. 

Firefighters quickly got the flames under control and extinguished them. The house had working smoke alarms which activated. Fire investigators determined the fire was accidental and started outside the home. 

During March, there have been two significant house fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials, started on the outside of the home. In addition, there have been a few relatively minor fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials. The Fire Department reminds residents to “sink it or soak it” 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 outside. Residents are advised to:

* Never dispose of cigarette butts in potted planting soil. When it gets too dry, this soil can become highly flammable.

* Never flick cigarettes into mulch or shrubbery. Dispose of them in a suitable ashtray or bucket with sand.

* Ensure that designated, outside smoking areas have an appropriate fireproof container, ashtray or bucket.

* Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away, as they can smolder and cause a fire.