A July 5 fire at a home in Leesburg resulted from unattended food cooking on a stove, according to the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office.
Fire and rescue crews raced to the scene after receiving calls around noon about a house on fire. Crews arriving on the seen reported heavy smoke and fire coming from the side and rear of the home.
All residents were safe and accounted for, and no fire-rescue personnel were injured.
The home was a total loss. The Fire Marshal’s Office estimates damages at $250,000.
Cooking equipment is the leading cause of fires in the home and the third leading cause of home fire deaths in recent years, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office. The following safety tips can help avoid a cooking related fire in your home:
- Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. If you leave the kitchen, even briefly, turn off the stove. If baking, roasting or broiling, set a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
- Keep flammables, such as oven mitts, utensils, food packaging and towels, away from your stovetop.
- Maintain a three-foot safety zone for kids around the stove and hot appliances. Turn pot handles away so young children cannot reach a cooking pot and get burned.
If you have a fire:
- On the stovetop, slide a lid on the pan to smother the flames and turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until the pan is completely cooled. Never pour water on a grease fire!
- For an oven fire, immediately turn off the heat and close the oven door.
- When in doubt, get out then call 9-1-1! Close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
- Working smoke alarms provide an early warning if there is a fire in your home. Keep smoke alarms connected while cooking and test them monthly.