A fire that officials blame on improperly disposed smoking material in a planter on the rear of the second-story deck caused an estimated $50,000 damage to an Alexandria-area townhouse Sunday (May 27) night.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department units arrived at 4311 Gypsy Court at about 10 PM to find smoke and fire coming from the rear of the second floor deck extending up the outside of the home and into the attic area. By initiating an aggressive fire attack, crews were able to bring the fire under control in approximately 10 minutes.
Two adults and one child have been displaced. There were no injuries.
Discarded smoking materials safety tips
- Completely douse butts and ashes with water before throwing them away as they can smolder and cause a fire.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Provide large, deep ashtrays with a center support for smokers. Check furniture for any dropped ashes before going to bed. Empty ashes into a fireproof container with water and sand.
- Keep smoking materials away from anything that can burn (i.e., mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, draperies, etc.).
- Never smoke in a home where oxygen is being used.
- If you smoke, choose fire-safe cigarettes. They are less likely to cause fires.
- To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you must be alert. You wonâ€™t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.
- Keep matches and lighters up high, out of children’s sight and reach.