Unattended Cooking Blamed in Middleburg Fire

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has ruled that a common household hazard—cooking—was to blame for a house fire Thursday in Middleburg.

At approximately 3:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Loudoun dispatchers were altered by multiple 911 calls about the fire on Foxhound Lane. Fire and rescue crews from Middleburg, Aldie, Philomont, Round Hill, South Riding, Purcellville, Hamilton and Fauquier County responded to the two-story, single family residence.

Firefighters quickly extinguished a small fire in the kitchen.

The occupants were alerted by smoke alarms and were safely outside when crews arrived. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for evaluation and then released. There were no other injuries.

Damage was estimated at $5,000.

According to Loudoun County Fire-Rescue, cooking equipment is the leading cause of house fires and the third leading cause of home fire fatalities. The department released these safety tips:

  • Stay in the kitchen while cooking on the stovetop. If you leave the kitchen, even briefly, turn off the stove. If baking, roasting, or broiling, set a timer to remind you that food is cooking.
  • Keep flammables, such as oven mitts, utensils, food packaging, or towels, away from your stovetop.
  • Maintain a 3-foot safety zone for kids around the stove and hot appliances. Turn pot handles away so young children cannot reach a cooking pot and get burned.
  • If a fire occurs on the stovetop, slide a lid on the pan to smother the flames and turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until the pan is completely cooled. Never pour water on a grease fire.
  • For an oven fire, immediately turn off the heat and close the oven door.
  • When in doubt, get out of the house and call 9111. Close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Working smoke alarms provide an early warning if there is a fire in your home. Keep smoke alarms connected while cooking and test them monthly.

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