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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: January 12, 2024

Accidental Ashburn House Fire Caused by Unattended Heating Appliance

Photo of fire scene in Ashburn

At approximately 12:05 p.m. on Thursday, January 11, 2024, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a structure fire in the 44000 block of Gala Circle in the Broad Run District of Ashburn. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (LCFR) units from Ashburn, Moorefield, Leesburg, and Kincora, as well as numerous Loudoun County Command Staff were dispatched to the scene. Arriving units located a three-story townhome with smoke showing from the exterior and subsequently requested a Rapid Intervention Task Force to bring additional firefighters to the scene. Crews worked to quickly extinguish the fire, which was mostly contained to the room of origin, however there was smoke and water damage throughout the home. 

The LCFR Fire Marshal’s Office investigation classified the fire as accidental, resulting from a heating appliance left unattended in direct contact with combustible materials. The investigation determined the heating appliance was removed from the combustible materials; however, a smoldering fire remained and fully ignited approximately one hour later, at which point a 9-1-1 call was initiated. Smoke alarms were present and sounded during the incident. One occupant sustained minor injuries but declined the evaluation of EMS personnel on scene. No firefighter injuries were reported. Four occupants were displaced and were assisted by the American Red Cross. The damages are estimated at $373,824. 

Community members are reminded that household appliances or devices that create or produce heat should never be placed on combustible surfaces that can absorb heat and unintentionally cause a fire. Heat-producing items should be unplugged when not in use and kept away from items that could inadvertently catch fire until fully cool to the touch. Manufacturer recommendations should always be followed when using heat-producing appliances in your home. Additionally, community members are reminded about the importance of closed doors and working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are the best way to alert yourself if there is a fire in your home, but there is more you can do to protect you and your loved ones. Fire needs oxygen to burn and once it uses all the oxygen in one space, it will spread to another room quickly. By closing the door, you can limit the amount of oxygen fueling the fire and slow the spread. For more fire prevention and life safety resources, visit our website or call the LCFR Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-737-8600.

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