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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: March 29, 2021

Leesburg Apartment Fire Caused by Inappropriately Discarded Smoking Materials

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 fire is attributed to the improper disposal of smoking materials. 

Just before 3:00 a.m., Monday, March 29, 2021, the Loudoun County Emergency Communication Center received a 911 call from a resident stating that there was a fire on the balcony that was spreading into their apartment. 911 operators advised the residents to evacuate and as they did, they pulled the fire alarm pull station to alert other residents to the fire. 

Fire and rescue units from Leesburg, Lansdowne, Ashburn, and Lucketts, were dispatched to 96 Heritage Way, in Leesburg for the reported structure fire. Firefighters arrived on scene to find active smoke and fire visible from the 3rd-floor balcony. Firefighters immediately used hoselines to extinguish the fire in the third-floor apartment that had spread to the adjacent attic space. A quick interior attack by firefighters had the fire under control within 20 minutes their arrival.

Two adult occupants and two animals were displaced from the apartment. There were no civilian injuries or Firefighter injuries. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office determined fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials with damages estimated at $30,000. 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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