Two fires early this week in Eastern Loudoun resulted in the displacement of two families and about $150,000 in damages, and prompted Loudoun fire personnel to issue home heating safety tips.
Units from several Loudoun County fire stations responded to 290 Chelmsford Court in Sterling after receiving 911 calls around 8:30 a.m. and spotted fire coming from the two-story end unit.
The fire was under control within 20 minutes, according to a report from the Loudoun County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management. Fire companies from Cascades, Sterling Park, Lansdowne and Fairfax County responded.
The occupants of the Chelmsford home were displaced and reported to be staying with friends. No injuries were reported. Damages were estimated at $50,000. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause to be accidental, originating from the chimney and spreading to the roof.
Around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, firefighters were dispatched to 6 Nicholson Court in CountrySide where they found the rear of a three-story, middle row townhouse ablaze.
Firefighters quickly gained control of the fire and contained it to the unit where it started. No injuries were reported. Damages were estimated at $100,000. Four residents were displaced and are staying with family.
Units from Sterling Park, Cascades, Lansdowne, Ashburn and Fairfax County responded to the scene.
The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the cause to be accidental in nature, resulting from an unattended candle.
The cause of the first fire caused Loudoun Fire and Rescue to issue a reminder to residents to be diligent about safety when heating their homes. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connectors account for the largest share of home heating fire incidents. Creosote build-up is the leading cause of chimney fires. Follow these safety precautions to ensure your family is safe:
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from your fireplace or wood stove
- Have your chimney, fireplace, or wood stove inspected and cleaned annually
- Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood that has been split, stacked, and allowed to dry for 12 months
- Have a sturdy screen on a fireplace, and allow ashes to cool before disposing of them in a metal container away from your home
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home
- Ensure smoke alarms are installed and functional, testing them once a month
For more information about how to safely heat homes, visit www.loudoun.gov/heating-safety. For information on fire safety, visit www.loudoun.gov/fireandlifesafety or call Lisa Braun, Public Education Manger at 703-771-5551. For additional fire safety tips or information regarding Loudoun’s Put a Finger On It smoke alarm program, visit www.loudoun.gov/fire or contact Lisa Braun.