Investigators from the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (LCFR) Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) have classified a fire in Leesburg on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, as accidental, caused by a failure of a lithium-ion battery pack during a charging cycle. The fire caused an estimated $5 million dollars in damages.
At approximately 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) received a 911 call from a homeowner reporting a fire in their outbuilding on Woodburn Rd in Leesburg. Loudoun County Combined Fire and Rescue System units from Hamilton, Leesburg, Aldie, Purcellville, Lansdowne, and Moorefield Station were dispatched to the incident along with numerous command officers. The first unit to arrive on the scene reported a large 40 x 40-foot outbuilding heavily involved in fire with all residents located safely on the exterior. This area of Leesburg does not have hydrants, so additional tankers were requested to supply water to the scene. Crews deployed numerous hand lines to contain and extinguish the outbuilding fire and fire that had spread to nearby trees and brush.
Following an investigation by LCFR-FMO the fire was determined to be accidental, caused by a failure of a lithium-ion battery pack during a charging cycle. The fire caused an estimated $5 million dollars in damages. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters.
Within the past twelve months, Loudoun County has investigated seven fires who’s cause can be directly tied to charging lithium batteries These fires have caused over $6.8 million dollars in damages. Loudoun County Fire and Rescue urges residents to help prevent similar fires by:
- Always keeping batteries, charging cords, and charging devices clear of flammable or combustible materials.
- Monitoring any battery or device that is being charged during the entire charging cycle.
- Stopping use of batteries immediately if you notice an odd odor, change in color or shape, excessive heat from the battery when in use or charging, leaks, or odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire or relocate the device outside the home and call 911.
- Always following the manufacturer’s instructions, and only using the battery and charging cord that is designed for the device.
- Ensuring all cords and wires are not damaged or worn.
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.