An electrical anomaly located within the Christmas lights of an artificial tree caused is blamed for a fire last Monday (Dec. 26) at 2201 Huntington Avenue in the Alexandria area, according to Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department investigators.
Upon arrival at the single-family home at approximately 10:20 PM, firefighters encountered smoke coming from the front of the two-story, duplex home. They were able to extinguish the fire in approximately 10 minutes.
All residents escaped without injury prior to the arrival of the fire department thanks to smoke alarms that alerted a resident sleeping in the second floor bedroom.
Three occupants have been displaced. There were no injuries to residents or firefighters. Damage is estimated at $20,000.
Even though this fire involved and artificial tree, department experts offer the following Christmas tree safety tips:
- Keep tree base immersed in water.
- Do not permit smoking near the tree.
- Use only lights that are Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved.
- Use flame retardant decorations and paper.
- Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs, and check for defective sockets.
- Unplug lights at night and when leaving the home.
- Remove the tree soon after the holidays before the needles dry out.