Spontaneously Combusting Stain Rags Cause Annandale House Fire

News release from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue

On Monday, April 22, at approximately 2:17 a.m., units were dispatched for a reported house fire in the 4000 block of Justine Drive in the Annandale section of Fairfax County.

Units arrived on the scene of a two-story, single family house with fire evident from the attached garage. Crews quickly worked to extinguish the fire. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries.

Two occupants were home at the time of the fire. One occupant heard some crackling outside the window and upon investigation discovered the fire. Both occupants safely evacuated the home and called 9-1-1. Smoke alarms were present and sounded after the fire was discovered.

Fire Investigators determined that the fire was accidental and started in a trash can on the driveway in between a vehicle and garage door. The cause of the fire was improperly discarded cloth rags soaked with wood stain. The soaked wood stain rags spontaneously combusted and ignited ordinary combustibles.

Two occupants were displaced due to the fire. Red Cross assistance was offered and declined. Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $71,000. The content loss includes a vehicle that was damaged due to the fire.

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