Loudoun County fire officials again tout the safety benefits of residential sprinkler systems after helping to contain a fire in an Ashburn condominium complex.
Just before 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, February, 16, 2020, the Loudoun County Emergency Communication Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a dryer fire at 45051 Brae Terrace in Ashburn. The 9-1-1 caller reported they had used a hand-held fire extinguisher to extinguish the fire. Based on the information provided, a reduced number of fire and rescue units were dispatched from Kincora, Ashburn, and Lansdowne along with command officers.
Kincora Engine 624 arrived on scene to find there was still active fire in the building and immediately requested additional resources bringing more fire and rescue units from Ashburn, Sterling, and Fairfax County.
Firefighters worked quickly to extinguish the remaining fire that the sprinklers had contained to the dryer area. Once the fire was out, crews remained on scene to clean up and assist residents retrieve personal belongings. While the homeowners were not displaced by the damages, they elected to relocate temporarily. The neighboring condominium unit also received minor damages. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire to be accidental, caused by a failure in the clothes dryer, and has estimated damages to both units at $2,500.
In this incident, the quick activation of the sprinkler system and the use of the fire extinguisher kept the fire from spreading and limited damages to only two units. Similarly, in January 2020, a Sterling townhome’s automatic fire sprinkler system was credited with preventing a garage fire from spreading further before first responders arrived. In that accidental fire originating in the engine compartment of the vehicle, the damages were limited to $20,000.
“It’s important to educate the public about how automatic fire sprinklers help to contain and prevent fires from becoming more significant emergencies,” said Fire Chief Keith Johnson. “Fire sprinklers save lives, including those of first responders, and greatly reduce the physical, emotional and financial damages that fires bring to a community.”
To learn more about fire prevention and life safety initiatives in your community, visit the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s webpage at http://www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal or call 703-737-8600.