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Posted at 5:10 PM ET, 09/23/2010

Fire destroys two homes in Manassas

By Washington Post Editors

Update, 6:50 p.m.

Wind blew flames from house to house in a Manassas neighborhood Thursday afternoon, leaving two homes destroyed and three damaged. Firefighters were still trying to suppress the blaze nearly three hours after it started.

A Prince William Fire Department official, Assistant Chief Hadden Culp, said there was no immediate indication of a cause. Two people were treated for minor injuries.

All of the destroyed and damaged homes were on the 8300 block of Tillett Loop, on the outskirts of Manassas. “The only thing we know right now is the wind significantly contributed” to spreading the fire, Culp said.

Vince Kennedy, who said he had lived on the block for 10 years, arrived home after a dentist appointment at about 3 p.m. and saw flames from a neighbor’s house. Kennedy said he called 911 and rang the doorbells of the immediate neighbors, then retreated to his own house two doors down, where several family members, a friend and three cats were inside.

The fire consumed the first house swiftly as flames poured through the windows.“There was black smoke,” he said. “You couldn’t even see around here.”

After leading the children away and removing some personal items, the fire eventually spread to Kennedy’s house. It suffered moderate damage.

--Jennifer Buske

Original post:
Firefighters are battling a massive blaze in the 8300 block of Tillett Loop in Manassas, according to a WUSA (Channel 9) report.

Fire officials say three homes in the Summer Lake area have been destroyed and a total of five homes are involved.

Units from Prince William and Fairfax counties are en route to assist, officials said.

This post will be updated with more information shortly.

By Washington Post Editors  | September 23, 2010; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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Glad to hear no one lost their life.

Posted by: slydell | September 23, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

There's an architectural problem with some of these new neighborhoods. With a townhouse - you get a firewall between the houses - so if one house goes up in flames, you don't get a domino effect. But with certain new/trendy "detached" SFH communities, they're almost as close as townhouses without protection against spreading fire. Sumner Lake is one of these communities where you have very little space between the houses. Most of these houses have vinyl siding which is made from petroleum based products. The builders need to come up with a more flame-proof material for the sides. I know brick is expensive, but there are alternatives that are more fire-resistant.

Posted by: mwcob | September 24, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

Editor! Where are you? The last sentence says that the fire led the children away and removed personal items before consuming the house. How thoughtful of it.

Posted by: MtPJen | September 24, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that was really nice of the fire, "...leading the children away and removing some personal items, the fire eventually spread to Kennedy’s house. It suffered moderate damage."

Posted by: kimberlyvdavis1 | September 24, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I hope the fire was also successful in rescuing the cats. I also hope the fire recovers quickly from the moderate damage it suffered.

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