Fire Marshal Blames Taco Bell Fire on Smoking Materials Igniting Mulch

Fire Marshal Blames Taco Bell Fire on Smoking Materials Igniting Mulch

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that another commercial fire was caused by smoking materials improperly discarded into a mulch bin.

The Fire Marshal announced July 23 that last week’s fire that caused $40,000 in damages to an Ashburn Taco Bell restaurant was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.

According to the release, smoke was reported about 1:30 p.m. July 15 inside the Taco Bell at 43230 Southern Walk Plaza, in the Broad Run District.

Fire and rescue units from Moorefield, Arcola, Ashburn, Lansdowne, Leesburg and South Riding found a haze of smoke in the ceiling area and smoke coming from the HVAC vents inside the structure. Crews found an active fire inside a pillar at the front entrance of the restaurant. Firefighters pulled plaster board and ceiling tiles to extinguish the fire and ensure there was no extension into the structure.

Emergency Medical Services personnel evaluated two employees for smoke inhalation and determined they did not require further care. There were no injuries to fire and rescue personnel.

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office deemed the fire accidental, caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials into a mulch bed. The fire in the mulch extended to the structure causing an estimated $40,000 in damages.

Improperly discarded smoking materials continue to be the cause of fires in Loudoun County. These fires have not only resulted in millions of dollars in damages, they also needlessly endangered the lives of citizens and fire and rescue personnel. The Fire Marshal also determined  that improperly discarded smoking materials in a mulch bed started a fire June 15 that caused $400,000 in damages at the Ted Britt auto dealership on Route 7 in Sterling.

The Fire Marshals reminds residents of the following 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!”
Joseph Dill