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Posted on: June 22, 2021

Fire Marshal Determines Battery Malfunction is Cause of Sterling House Fire

Ashcroft Terrace - Electric Scooter 6-21-21 A

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) attributed the cause of Monday’s house fire that displaced seven residents to a malfunction within a charging electric scooter.  

Just after 3:00 p.m., Monday, June 21, 2021, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received multiple 911 calls reporting a fire in the 20,000 block of Ashcroft Terrace in Sterling. Loudoun County Fire and rescue units from Sterling Cascades, Sterling Park, Kincora, Ashburn, Moorefield, Leesburg, and Fairfax County were dispatched to the call along with numerous command officers.  

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke and significant fire coming from a three-story, end unit townhouse and requested a second alarm and Level I Rapid Intervention Team. Crews ensured that all residents had evacuated before using master stream devices to knock down the fire from the exterior and protect neighboring homes. 

Once safe, firefighters made entry and rapidly extinguished the remaining fire, containing it to the original townhouse and limiting damages to adjoining townhomes. 

Two of the three occupants, home at the time of the fire, were evaluated on the scene by Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System (LC-CFRS) paramedics for minor smoke inhalation. One Loudoun firefighter was transported to a local hospital for a heat related illness. 

The Loudoun County FMO’s investigation into the incident determined the fire was accidental, due to a malfunction within an electric scooter that was charging. Damages to the home and its contents are estimated at $712,272 with $30,000 in damages to the immediately neighboring townhome. Seven occupants of the home, representing three generations, were displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.  

            Fire investigators are still working to identify the exact model and manufacturer of the electric scooter and will be following up with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. To help prevent incidents such as this, the Loudoun County FMO suggests following some simple safety precautions when charging accessories. 

Helpful Battery Safety Tips

  • Stop using batteries immediately if you notice an odd odor, change in color or shape, excessive heat, leaks, or odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire and call 911.
  • Purchase/use devices listed by a qualified testing laboratory and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Only use the battery and charging cord that is designed for the device.
  • Monitor any battery or device that is being charged.
  • Do not charge batteries when warm or just used.  Allow them to cool before charging.
  • Do not charge a device on your bed or couch and always store batteries away from anything that can catch fire.
  • Keep batteries at room temperature. Do not place batteries in direct sunlight or keep them in hot vehicles.

For additional fire prevention and life safety information, please visit Loudoun.gov/fireprevention or call our Public Education Manager Lisa Braun at 571-258-3222. 


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