For Additional Information:
Laura Rinehart, Public Information Officer
[email protected] or 571-233-1649
December 27, 2018
For Immediate Release:
Accidental Christmas Fire Destroys Family Home, Firefighters Ensure Children Receive Gifts
The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office investigation into a fire early Christmas morning found that the fire was accidental, caused by an unattended candle.
At 2:40 a.m. on Tuesday, December 25th, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting a structure fire in the 18,000 block of Airmont Road in Round Hill. Fire and rescue crews from Round Hill, Philomont, Purcellville, Hamilton, and Leesburg along with various command, safety, and EMS officers were dispatched to the scene.
When Engine 604 from Round Hill arrived on scene, significant smoke and fire was visible from both levels of a single family home. Additional resources were requested to bringing units from Middleburg, Loudoun Heights, Clarke County and Frederick County, Virginia to the scene. Firefighters quickly deployed hose lines to attack the fire from the exterior as additional crews made their way inside to extinguish the remaining fire and search the home. Command officers on the scene confirmed the residents of the home had self-evacuated prior to the firefighters' arrival and were located safely outside.
There were no injuries to civilians however one firefighter was transported to a local area hospital for evaluation. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office investigation determined that the fire was caused by an unattended candle inside the home. The home did have smoke alarms but they were not in working condition.
Three adults, five children and a dog were displaced by the fire. The family was assisted on the scene by American Red Cross and are staying with family. The home was a total loss with damages estimated at just over $222,000. Thankfully, firefighters from Round Hill, Purcellville and surrounding stations were able to get donated toys delivered to the children on Christmas morning bringing some joy despite this unfortunate tragedy.
Fire Marshals remind residents to stay vigilant and only use candles in a safe manner. Candles should be placed on a sturdy, nonflammable surface, away from children, pets and anything that can burn. Candles require constant supervision by an adult and you must ensure that candles are completely extinguished before leaving the area. A safer alternative is using flameless candles that still look and smell like real candles.
While smoke alarms were present in this home, they were not working. Smoke alarms are your first defense against home fires, protecting you and your family 24 hours a day. If your smoke alarms aren’t working, are over ten years old or you have questions about your smoke alarms, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue can help. Our Smoke Alarm Program offers home safety inspections and smoke alarms to Loudoun County Residents at no charge. Visit www.loudoun.gov/smokealarms or call 703-737-8600 for more information.