Improper Disposal of Smoking Materials Causes Fatal Apartment Fire
For Immediate Release: July 7, 2019
On Sunday, July 7, at approximately 5:26 a.m., units from the Alexandria and Fairfax County Fire Departments were dispatched for a report of smoke in a multifamily residential building in the 6000 block of Edsall Road. The 9-1-1 dispatcher instructed the caller to pull the fire alarm so all residents would evacuate the building.
Upon arrival, units discovered fire in a ground level apartment, and the fire was quickly extinguished. An elderly female victim was found deceased in the unit where the fire originated.
Fire marshals determined that the fire started in the bedroom of the apartment, and the probable cause of the fire has been determined to be improperly discarded smoking materials. The cause of death remains under investigation, pending determination by the Medical Examiner’s Office. The Alexandria Police Department is also involved in this joint investigation.
“The Alexandria Fire Department would like to remind residents to be extremely cautious when handling smoking materials,” said Acting Fire Chief Corey Smedley. “If you choose to smoke, always smoke outside and extinguish your cigarettes and other smoking materials by putting water on the ashes and butts to make sure they’re completely out before placing it in the proper receptacle.”
Damage to the unit and contents is estimated to be $225,000. There was no displacement of any residents in the building.
For media inquiries, contact Raytevia Evans, Public Information Officer, at 703.746.5190 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
This news release is available at alexandriava.gov/110503.