The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office determined a Dec. 8 house fire in the Broad Run neighborhood of Ashburn was caused by a malfunctioning fireplace.
Just before 8:30 p.m. Friday, numerous calls to the county dispatching center reported a house fire on Birdsnest Place. Fire and Rescue crews from Ashburn, Sterling, Cascades, Kincora, Leesburg, Moorefield responded to the two-story, single-family home.
The residents, two adults and three children, were alerted by a smoke detector and were safely outside when crews arrived. Heavy fire prevented crews from entering the home. While fighting the fire from the exterior, they also worked to prevent a spread to nearby homes. Once the fire was under control and the stability of the structure confirmed, firefighters were able to enter the home and extinguish the remaining fire.
No injuries were reported.
The American Red Cross responded to assist the displaced family.
The structure was a total loss with damages estimated at $475,000 with an additional $10,000 in damages to each of the neighboring homes.
The Department of Fire-Rescue highlighted the need for residents to ensure their fireplaces are safe for use and offered these tips:
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, such as the fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be completely cooled before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home or any structure.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries when needed.
- Lastly, remember to close your bedroom doors when going to sleep. A closed door can significantly slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire.