A Tuesday afternoon house fire in Ashburn is being used to highlight the benefits of smoke alarms and non-combustible siding.
The fire, on Glebe View Drive, was reported just after 2 p.m. Dec. 4. The 911 caller reported a fire in an upstairs bedroom and that all occupants were out of the house except for the family dog. Crews from Ashburn, Moorefield, Lansdowne and Leesburg responded to find a two-story, single family dwelling with smoke coming from the second floor. Additional crews from Kincora and Dulles South were called in. The fire was contained to the bathroom with some minor extension into the ceiling and attic area above the fire.
The three adult occupants were alerted to the fire by smoke alarms. Firefighters located and rescued the dog, which was unharmed.
The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office has classified the fire as accidental, caused by an electrical malfunction. Damages were estimated at $75,000. Because of water and smoke damage, three adult occupants and the dog were displaced from the home.
The Fire-Rescue Department highlighted that the exterior of the home was constructed with fibrous cement siding, which greatly slowed the rate of fire spread vertically as well as to neighboring homes. This fibrous cement siding is mostly comprised of non-flammable materials and generally carries the highest achievable safety rating. Alternative siding options may not have provided the same level of protection or time for firefighters to extinguish the fire, the department stated.
Additionally, the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office recommends that every residence have working smoke alarms on each level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue’s smoke alarm program offers free home safety surveys and smoke alarms for county residents. For homes with smoke alarms that aren’t working or are outdated, the department we will replace them with battery powered alarms at no cost and install additional alarms as necessary. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the department hotline at 703-737-8093 or go to loudoun.gov/smokealarms.