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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: May 20, 2021

Millay Court House Fire Attributed to HVAC System

Millay Court - Ashburn HVAC side C-D Newsflash .jpg

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office determined last night’s house fire in Ashburn was accidental, resulting from a mechanical malfunction in the air handler system, a component of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system located in the attic. 

Just after 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 19, 2021, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received multiple 911 calls reporting a house fire in the 43,000 block of Millay Court in Ashburn. Fire and rescue units from Broadlands, Ashburn, Kincora, Sterling Park, Dulles South, Brambleton, Leesburg, and Fairfax County, responded along with command and safety officers. 

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find a large, single-family home with heavy fire and smoke coming from the second floor and roof area. Two residents were located safely outside.

Firefighters used the tower-ladder master streams to attack the fire from the exterior enabling crews to move inside and quickly control the fire. Fire and rescue crews remained on scene conducting extensive overhaul of the second floor to extinguish any hidden fire and salvage personal belongings. 

The Fire Marshal's Office estimated the damages at just over $759,000 with two residents displaced and staying in temporary housing. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters. 

 As we move quickly into the summer season and temperatures change, it is important to inspect and maintain the HVAC equipment in your home. 

Have a licensed contractor do annual pre-season check-ups of the cooling system in the spring and the heating system in the fall. During the inspection, your HVAC contractor should also clean your system and ensure there are no carbon monoxide or refrigerant leaks.

  • Inspect, clean, or change air filters once a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump according to manufacturer’s instructions. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure.
  • Ensure any window air conditioning units are tested by a recognized, independent testing laboratory and follow the manufacture’s recommendations when installing and operating the device. Do not plug your air conditioner into an extension cord or power strip. Your window unit should have its own dedicated outlet.
  • Lastly, have working smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside sleeping areas and on every level of the home. Carbon Monoxide alarms should also be installed on each level and in hallways outside of sleeping areas. 

 For additional fire prevention and life safety information or details about our free smoke alarm resources visit or call 703-737-8600.

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