A Lovettsville man is dead and an Ashburn family is displaced after two residential structure fires over the weekend.
A third fire inside a classroom at Dominion High School Sunday night caused minimal damage because it was contained by the school’s automatic sprinkler system and quickly extinguished by fire and rescue crews.
According to Loudoun County Fire and Rescue, the Lovettsville fire was reported about 8:30 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 10).
Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received a call from an alarm company stating that they were contacted by a resident reporting their house was on fire and they were unable to escape.
Crews from Lovettsville, Purcellville, Hamilton, Round Hill, Lucketts, Leesburg, Loudoun Heights, Brambleton and Frederick County, Maryland, responded to the two-story, split-level residence in the 12000 block of Taylorstown Road. They encountered fire coming from the roof and several sides of the structure.
The advanced state of the fire caused the roof and several floors of the home to collapse, making entry for firefighters extremely hazardous. Command staff immediately requested a Rapid Intervention Team for additional personnel as well as a Tanker Task Force to bring additional water to the rural home.
Due to initial reports from neighbors, information received from the 9-1-1 caller, and failure to find the homeowner outside the residence, crews made several attempts to enter the home and search for any potential occupants. Firefighters were forced to retreat due to the advanced fire condition of the roof and multiple interior floors of the home.
A defensive fire attack was initiated from the exterior until such time the fire would allow for crews to re-enter the structure to complete the search.
While conducting their search, firefighters located a body inside the home.
As the incident remains an active fire investigation no details are available regarding the deceased or the official cause of death.
The Fire Marshal’s Office and Loudoun County Sherriff’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire.
The Fire Marshal’s Office had determined that a malfunctioning fireplace was the cause of a fire about 8:30 p.m. Dec. 8 in the 20200 block of Birdsnest Place in Ashburn
Crews from Ashburn, Sterling, Cascades, Kincora, Leesburg and Moorefield responded to the two-story, single-family home and found fire coming from the roof and side of the residence.
Due to the amount of fire and potential for collapse, firefighters began defensive operations, attacking the fire from the exterior. Additional crews deployed hose lines to protect the adjacent homes from heat and fire damage.
The residents of the home, two adults and three children were found safe outside upon arrival of the first responders. The home was equipped with working smoke alarms that alerted the family.
There were no injuries to any occupants or first responders. Local representatives from the American Red Cross responded to assist the displaced family.
The Fire Marshal’s investigation determined the fire to be accidental due to a fireplace malfunction. The structure was a total loss with damages estimated at $475,000 with an additional $10,000 in damages to each of the adjacent homes.
Donations for the family are being accepted at Forest Grove Elementary School. The family is in great need of clothing, diapers, wipes, and formula. They will also be collecting gift cards for these items. A fire was reported about 11:15 Dec. 10 by an automatic fire alarm at Dominion High School.
Units from Cascades and Sterling Park were dispatched and there were no signs of smoke or fire from the exterior, but firefighters encountered a burning odor once they entered the school. Further investigation found smoke coming from a classroom and the incident was upgraded to a structure fire bringing additional resources from Kincora, Ashburn, Fairfax County and several command officers.
Firefighters located a small fire in a science classroom on the main floor of the school with automatic fire sprinklers activated. Firefighters used a portable extinguisher to extinguish the remaining fire. A total of three sprinkler heads inside the single classroom activated and kept the fire in check.
Due to the sprinkler activation, the classroom of origin and the classrooms directly below in the lower level experienced minor water damage, but the damage attributed to the fire itself was minimal. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has determined the fire to be accidental in nature, originating in the science classroom. Damage estimates are not available at this time.