The Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Fire Marshal’s Office (LCFR-FMO) has determined the cause of a garage fire in the 44000 block of Mossy Brook Square in Ashburn to be accidental, as the fire originated in the charging system while charging the electric vehicle. To help prevent similar fires, LCFR-FMO reminds residents to always monitor any battery or device that is being charged during the entire charging cycle and to keep batteries charging cords and charging devices clear of combustible materials.
At approximately 12:26 p.m.., Monday, April 18, 2022, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from a neighbor reporting smoke visible from a garage. Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System (LC-CFRS) units from Ashburn, Lansdowne, Kincora, Moorefield, Leesburg, Cascades, and command staff responded to the initial call. First arriving units arrived on scene and confirmed smoke and fire inside the garage. The initial caller believed the homeowner was still inside the home, but first arriving units were able to safely locate the homeowner outside the home. A Rapid Intervention Task (RIT) force was requested, which brought additional units to the scene to support firefighting operations.
Firefighters were able to rapidly deploy hoselines and ground ladders allowing for a simultaneous coordination of fire attack, ventilation, and search operations to confirm everyone had escaped. The fire was quickly extinguished and contained to the garage. A primary and secondary search of all levels and rooms of the home revealed no additional life safety hazards.
The LCFR-FMO investigation determined that the fire was accidental, as the fire originated in the charging system while charging the electric vehicle. Fire damages are estimated to be $15,400. One person was displaced due to the fire and will be staying with family.
The homeowner was evaluated on-scene for smoke inhalation but did not require transport to the hospital. A firefighter was also evaluated on-scene after suffering a fall while making entry into the garage but did not require transport.
To help prevent fires similar to this follow these safety tips:
- Always keep batteries, charging cords and charging devices clear of combustible materials.
- Monitor any battery or device that is being charged during the entire charging cycle.
- Stop using batteries immediately if you notice an odd odor, change in color or shape, excessive heat, leaks, or odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire or outside the home and call 911.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and only use the battery and charging cord that is designed for the device.
For owners of electric or hybrid vehicles, the following tips can help create a safer electrical vehicle experience for you and your family:
I got a recall notice, now what? Follow all manufacturer instructions for any recalls. Until a recalled vehicle has been repaired, the safest place to park them is outside and away from homes. To check if your vehicle has an open recall, obtain the 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) from your registration, insurance, or the sticker on your driver’s door jamb or windshield and visit www.nhtsa.gov/recalls for VIN specific information.
Know your car - Familiarize yourself with the instructions and warnings supplied in your owner’s manual.
What if my vehicle needs service? The high voltage components in the vehicle can only be serviced by certified technicians. See your dealer if the high voltage system or battery needs service.
What if I’m involved in a collision? Even a minor accident can damage the electrical system of an electrical vehicle, have any possible damage inspected by a certified technician.
For additional fire prevention and life safety information, please visit Loudoun.gov/fireprevention or call our Public Education Manager Lisa Braun at 571-258-3222.