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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: June 17, 2020

Improperly Discarded Smoking Materials Cause Sterling House Fire

CDC Smoking Causes Fires Newsflash.jpg

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office is issuing an important warning and offering safety tips after another Loudoun County house fire is attributed to the improper disposal of smoking materials.

At approximately 5:40 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, 2020, fire and rescue units from Sterling Park, Kincora, Cascades, Fairfax County, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority were dispatched to a reported structure fire in the 200 block of Sherwood Court. 9-1-1 calls to the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center reported that the house was on fire and the neighbors were attempting to extinguish it.

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find an area of burnt siding on the front of the home and a haze of smoke in the structure. The crew quickly extinguished the exterior siding as additional firefighters searched the home for fire extension. The fire was contained to the exterior of the home and did not spread into the walls or attic space.

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters as a result of the incident.

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s investigation determined the fire was accidental, resulting from smoking materials being placed into a pot near the front door of the home. Damages to the home were estimated at $5,000.

These fires are preventable by following a few simple tips:

  • If you smoke, do so outside.
  • Use a deep, sturdy ashtray and be sure it is placed on a surface where it will not tip over.
  • Place cigarettes in proper containers such as metal or ceramic pots filled with sand. Never use plastic containers or anything that holds potting soil. Be sure to clean out cigarette butt containers often.
  • Place containers away from the house. Never place containers on front porches, decks, or just outside the door.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Hot ashes can smolder for days.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly and replace units as specified by the manufacturer’s instructions.

For additional fire prevention and life safety information, please visit Loudoun.gov/fire or call the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-737-8600.


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