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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: December 11, 2020

Sterling House Fire Displaces Family and Prompts Smoke Alarm and Fire Safety Outreach

NEWS and ALERTS newsflash 2

Loudoun County Fire Officials are reminding residents about the importance of smoke alarms and dangers of heating equipment after a Sterling family experiences a devastating house fire.

Just before 5:15 p.m. on December 10, 2020, fire and rescue units from Sterling Park, Kincora, Cascades, Moorfield, Fairfax County, Va., and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority – Dulles responded to the 800 block of South Concord Court in Sterling for a structure fire. 911 calls to the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center reported smoke coming from an end unit townhouse. 

Firefighters arrived on scene to find smoke showing from a two-story townhouse and once inside, located a fire on the second floor that was rapidly extending into the attic. Fire and rescue personnel ensured that the home was evacuated and worked quickly to extinguish the fire. 

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire was accidental, caused by a space heater igniting nearby combustibles. Damages were estimated at $72,000 and were limited to the house of origin. The American Red Cross are assisting the three adults and two children that were displaced.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. These fires are preventable, use caution, and follow these heating safety tips:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free and pet-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

The investigation also determined that there were no working smoke alarms in the home. NFPA statistics show that almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. “It’s critical that these life-saving devices are checked and tested frequently to ensure they’re working properly,” said Chief Linda Hale of the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office. “We recommend that smoke alarms are placed in each bedroom, outside sleeping areas and on every level of the home. Early warning can provide the lifesaving seconds you may need to escape!”  

On Saturday, December 12, 2020, Loudoun County firefighters will be going door to door in the Sterling neighborhood where the fire occurred to offer free smoke alarm assessments and fire safety information. The Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System’s Smoke Alarm Program offers free home safety inspections to all Loudoun residents. If your smoke alarms are broken or outdated, we will replace them with battery powered alarms at no cost and install additional alarms as necessary. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the smoke alarm hotline 703-737-8093 or visit www.loudoun.gov/smokealarms.  

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