The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office announced today (June 19) that the fire was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.
The fire that caused an estimated $400,000 damage June 15 at Ted Britt Chevrolet in Sterling was started when smoking materials were discarded into a mulch bed.
Fire and rescue crews from Sterling Park, Cascades, Kincora and Fairfax County were dispatched to the 46000 block of Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) just after 7 a.m. when the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received numerous 9-1-1 calls reporting a fire. along with various command and safety officers were dispatched to the incident.
Those crews and various command and safety officers observed a large column of smoke as they approached the area and requested a Level I Rapid Intervention Team bringing additional units from Cascades and Fairfax County.
Firefighters found active fire in several vehicles parked against the building, with fire spreading quickly into the structure. Firefighters worked to extinguish the vehicle fires as a second crew entered the structure to put out the fire in the building’s attic.
Damages to the vehicles and structure are estimated at $400k. The fire in the mulch quickly spread to the vehicles and then into the structure. There were no injuries as a result of the incident.
The Fire Marshall’s office reminded residents that discarded smoking materials continue to be the cause of many fires across Loudoun County, which cause millions of dollars in damages and endanger citizens and fire and rescue personnel.
Residents should follow safety precautions when discarding smoking materials:
- Dispose of smoking materials only in a metal or ceramic container filled with sand or water. Remember that mulch, potting soil, etc. is combustible and will burn quickly when exposed to heat.
- Place your smoking receptacles away from the home, NOT on the front porch, deck, or just outside your door.
- Remember, “Put it out, all the way, every time!”