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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: September 28, 2021

Ashburn Townhouse Fire Caused by Stovetop Burner

NEWS and ALERTS newsflash 2

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) attributed the cause of Friday’s house fire that displaced three residents to a stovetop burner being left on or inadvertently turned on. 

Just after 5:00 p.m., on Friday, September 24, 2021, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received a call reporting smoke from second floor windows of a neighboring townhouse at the 43000 block of Postrail Square in Ashburn. The neighbor reported that the residents were not home, but that pets were inside the home. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue units from Ashburn, Lansdowne, Moorefield, Kincora, Leesburg and command staff were dispatched to the fire. Units arrived to find a two-story townhouse with smoke coming from the windows on the second floor. 

Hose lines were immediately deployed into the townhouse where crews found an active fire in the kitchen on the second floor. The fire was quickly extinguished, and the fire was contained to the kitchen area. Crews performed searches of the basement, first and second floor to locate pets. There were four pets (dog and three cats) that were recovered inside the home. 

All levels of the townhouse suffered smoke and heat damage. The townhouse had smoke alarms, but it is unknown if they were functioning. Working smoke alarms were installed prior to units leaving the scene. Loudoun residents can request a free smoke alarm assessment at any time by completing the online form at loudoun.gov/smokealarms or by calling the smoke alarm program hotline at 703-737-8093. 

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) investigation into the incident determined the fire was accidental, due to a stovetop burner being left on or inadvertently turned on. Damages are estimated at $373,760 with $233,600 for the structure and $140,160 for the contents. 

LC-CFRS and the FMO reminds the public that unattended equipment is a factor in 31% of reported home cooking fires and over 53% of the associated deaths according to the NFPA. You can help keep your family safe by following these tips: 

  • Always stay in the kitchen when cooking. 
  • If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol, don’t use the stove or stovetop 
  • If you have children or pets in the home, make sure they are kept at least 3 feet away from the stove-top or oven. 
  • Remove stove knobs or protect them with covers when not cooking to prevent pets and children from turning your stove or oven on inadvertently. 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop 
  • If a fire happens, get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. 
  • Call 9-1-1 after you leave. 
  • Have working smoke alarms on every level of the home and in every bedroom. 

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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