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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: March 22, 2023

Smoke Alarm Plays Critical Role in Sterling Fire

NEWS ALERTS 365 230 px

 A Sterling man is safe today because a smoke alarm warned him of a fire that heavily damaged his home and nearly took his life. 

At 3:40 p.m. on Monday, March 20, 2023, the Loudoun County Emergency Communication Center received a 911 call reporting a structure fire at a home on Thrush Court in Sterling. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue units from Cascades, Sterling, Kincora, Ashburn, Moorefield, and Fairfax County responded to the incident. 

When firefighters arrived on the scene, they discovered a one-story, single-family house with significant fire showing from the front and rear. One adult occupant had self-evacuated and was located outside the home. Firefighters quickly knocked down the bulk of the fire from the exterior before making their way inside. Crews performed search and rescue operations and extinguished the remaining fire.

The single occupant was evaluated by EMS crews on scene due to minor injuries, however denied treatment and transport to the hospital. No fire and rescue personnel were injured. 

The Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office investigation determined the fire was accidental in nature due to combustible materials being stored in close proximity to a heating appliance (water heater). Dollar loss has been estimated at $310,200.00 for the structure and $186,120.00 for contents. One adult occupant will be displaced and is staying locally with friends. 

Remember to always keep combustible items at least 36-inches away from any heating appliances or heat generating equipment in your homes. It is also imperative to have working smoke alarms in your home and a home escape plan in case of fire. The resident in this case was in the shower and was alerted to the fire when the smoke alarms began to sound, giving him critical time to escape. 

 Always follow these smoke alarm safety tips: 

  • Test your alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Change replaceable batteries once a year. Even alarms that get power from your home's electrical system, or “hardwired,” usually have a back-up battery. Some smoke alarms may have a non-replaceable 10-year lithium (“long-life”) battery. If you are unsure which type you have, check the information on the back of the alarm.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly.
  • Smoke alarms should be located inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • To get more information on smoke alarms or to request a free smoke alarm assessment visit  or call 703-737-8093
  • Have a home escape plan so everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds. Practice your plan!



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