Heating Appliance Mishap Leads to Townhome Fire in Broad Run District

 

In the quiet Broad Run District of Ashburn, a typical afternoon was abruptly disrupted by a distressing incident. At around 12:05 p.m. on January 11, 2024, a call to the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center flagged a pressing concern: a structure fire in a townhome located in the 44000 block of Gala Circle. This news swiftly mobilized units from the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue (LCFR), including teams from Ashburn, Moorefield, Leesburg, and Kincora, along with the Loudoun County Command Staff.

Upon their arrival, the first responders were met with a daunting scene – a three-story townhome, enveloped in smoke billowing from its exterior. Recognizing the severity, a Rapid Intervention Task Force was immediately called upon to reinforce the firefighting efforts. The teams, displaying commendable efficiency and coordination, managed to confine the blaze primarily to its room of origin. Nevertheless, the home suffered extensive smoke and water damage.

The subsequent investigation by the LCFR Fire Marshal’s Office shed light on the cause: an accidental ignition due to a heating appliance left in direct contact with combustible materials. It appears that while the appliance was eventually separated from these materials, a smoldering fire lingered, later erupting into a full-blown fire. Fortunately, the home’s smoke alarms functioned as intended, activating during the incident.

The human toll of this incident was thankfully minimal, with one occupant sustaining minor injuries but declining medical evaluation on-site. Impressively, no firefighters were injured during the operation. However, the fire did displace four residents, who have since received aid from the American Red Cross. The financial impact is significant, with damages estimated at $373,824.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by unattended heating appliances, especially in residential areas. It underscores the importance of vigilant safety practices in our homes and the invaluable role of our emergency responders in safeguarding our community.

 

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