Two fires caused by improperly discarded smoking materials have displaced families in the past 48 hours, according to the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office.
The first, a Jan. 10 house fire on Harmony Church Road in Leesburg resulted in $75,000 of damages done to the home, said Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Laura Rinehart in a release.
There were no injuries to civilians. Two firefighters received minor burns injuries and were transported to local hospital for treatment and have since been released, Rinehart said.
The Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from the residents of a home in the 18000 block of Harmony Church Road reporting a fire shortly after 5 p.m. Fire and rescue crews from Hamilton, Purcellville, Leesburg, Aldie, Round Hill and Philomont responded to the reported fire. The first firefighters on scene reported smoke coming from a two-story, single family home and that all occupants were located safely out of the structure, Rinehart said.
Additional resources were requested including tankers to assist with rural water supply operations and the mobile ambulance bus from Moorefield to assist with firefighter rehabilitation operations.
Firefighters advanced multiple hose line to the second floor, where a fire was located inside a bedroom and extinguished. Fire and rescue units remained on scene checking for fire spread, or “hot spots”, and ventilating the structure.
The second floor bedroom and bathroom received the bulk of the damages while the first floor has minor smoke and water damage. The two residents will be displaced until repairs can be made and are staying locally, Rinehart said.
The second, a Jan. 11 fire in Bluemont, was caused by improperly discarded fireplace ashes and did $25,000 in damages. The family was also displaced.
The fireplace ashes were placed in trash cans immediately adjacent to the structure, causing a fire that quickly traveled up the outside of the house and into the attic.
The County Emergency Communications Center received the call for a house fire around 11:20 p.m. in the 33000 block of Austin Grove Road. ire and Rescue units from Round Hill, Philomont, Middleburg, Purcellville responded to find fire showing from the roof. Additional resources were requested, bringing units from Lovettsville, Clarke County, Mount Weather, and Leesburg. Due to the rural area and limited access, a rural water supply operation was set up using tankers to shuttle water.
Upon entering the residence, firefighters located the fire which had spread to the attic space above a converted garage. Crews extinguished the fire and remained on scene checking for fire extension and removing debris. The residents were alerted to the fire by their smoke alarms and exiting the structure safely.
One firefighter was transported to a local hospital for checkout of a possible medical emergency. There were no injuries to civilians.
“This incident serves as a powerful reminder that residents must use caution when disposing of fireplace ashes or any hot materials in or around your home. Fireplace ashes, cigarette butts, grill or fire pit remnants are among the many items that can cause a fire unless disposed of properly,” Rinehart said in a release.
“It is critical to soak these flammable items thoroughly with water and let them cool before disposing into a closed metal container. The metal container should be kept outside, a safe distance away from your home or any other structures. By taking these additional measures, you can help ensure these items are fully extinguished and do not pose a fire hazard to you or your neighbors,” Rinehart said.