Fire investigators say discarded smoking materials were responsible for a fatal garden apartment fire in Lorton Tuesday. Mary Ann Brookie, 34, of 8228 Catbird Circle, was killed in the blaze.
Firefighters responding to the mid-afternoon fire encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the third floor of the four-story building upon arrival. The fire quickly spread to the fourth floor, attic, and roof despite the efforts of about 160 firefighters, including units from Fort Belvoir and Prince William County.
Firefighters made several rescues using ground ladders early on during the incident. Firefighters brought the fire under control approximately two hours later. Twelve apartment units received severe fire and other collateral damage. A total of 36 residents have been displaced. Red Cross, Office of Emergency Management, and apartment management are assisting the displaced occupants.
Six firefighters had minor, non-life threatening injuries fighting the fire. One resident was treated by paramedics at the scene; however, not transported.
Damage is estimated at $1M and the building is considered a total loss.