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Improperly discarded cigarette leads to Falls Church fire

A man was seriously injured in a weekend fire in Falls Church that was started by an improperly discarded cigarette, Fairfax County fire officials said Monday.

Firefighters were called to the blaze, at a home in the 7200 block of Idylwood Road, at about 6:20 a.m. Saturday, officials said. When they arrived, there was heavy smoke and fire coming from the basement and sides of the two-story home.

A man who tried to put out the blaze before emergency crews arrived suffered life-threatening injuries and is hospitalized at Washington Hospital Burn Center, authorities said.

One firefigher also was injured.

Officials said three people have been displaced from the house, and the fire caused about $225,000 in damage.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department released these 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 won’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.

-- Maria Glod

By Maria Glod  |  March 8, 2010; 10:12 AM ET
Categories:  Fairfax , Falls Church , Fires & Fire Safety , Maria Glod  
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Nice tips, thanks homie!

Posted by: steampunk | March 8, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Stinky. Stinky. Stinky.

Posted by: jercha | March 8, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The man in the fire died yesterday. He was my daughter's violin teacher for the last three years. He was a much-loved strings teacher in Fairfax schools. He will be missed by many.

Posted by: kybos | March 11, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

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