Four Displaced After Herndon Townhouse Fire Caused by Unattended Cooking

Food left cooking on a stove ended up causing a fire that has four people out of a home in Herndon.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue units responded before 2 a.m. Thursday to a reported townhouse fire in the 800 block of Sycamore Court. When they arrived, they found smoke showing from the front of the three-story, end-unit house. The fire was found in the first-floor kitchen and quickly extinguished, fire officials say.

The three adults and one child who were in the home at the time of the fire all were able to get out after smelling something burning. One was transported to a hospital for evaluation, and Red Cross assistance is being provided.

Damages as a result of the fire were approximately $25,000.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue offers the following safety tips to help avoid kitchen fires and other calamities:

  • Have a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking. Long, loose sleeves are more likely to catch on fire or get caught on pot handles.
  • Keep things that can catch fire such as dish towels, curtains or paper at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Do not leave cooking food unattended. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Turn pot handles inward, facing the wall to prevent burns caused by overturning or spills.
  • Pot holders or oven mitts prevent burns when handling hot dishes.
  • Regularly clean your cooking equipment so that there are no cooking materials, food items or grease accumulation.
  • Always keep an oven mitt and lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, put on an oven mitt and smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not remove the lid until it is completely cool.
  • If there is an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from burning you and your clothing. Have the oven serviced before you use it again.

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