A house fire that occurred at 1400 Cuttermill Court at about 7:50 a.m. Saturday was deemed accidental by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.
The three occupants of the home and their two pets were able to escape the fire unharmed after smoke alarms in the home alerted them of the fire. One cat needed to be brought to a veterinarian.
When fire and rescue units responded to the house fire in the Town of Herndon firefighters encountered heavy black smoke and flames coming from the basement and the back of the two-story house.
Firefighters searched the home while attacking the fire from the back of the house. The fire burnt through the first floor, and firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in about 10 minutes.
The occupants of the house, two adults and one youth and the pets, have been displaced and Red Cross is assisting them. Damages are estimated at $100,000.
Fire investigators concluded the fire was accidental and started with an unidentified electrical source in the basement ceiling.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue provided the following electrical safety tips:
• Replace or repair loose or frayed cords on electrical devices.
• Don't overload electrical outlets. Plug in only one high-wattage appliance in an electrical outlet at a time.
• If the power goes out frequently, lights in your home flicker, smell bad or make noise, have an electrician inspect the home's wiring.
• Make sure electrical outlets in bathrooms have a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). They can be installed by an electrician and protect from dangerous shocks if water and electricity come together.
• Make sure all electrical outlets and light switches are covered by face plates.
• Avoid using devices such as cube taps, that allow multiple appliances to be plugged into one electrical outlet.
• Inspect all electrical cords and make sure they are in good condition.
• If you use a lot of extension cords, consider having an electrician install additional circuits or outlets.
• Never tie or knot electrical cords.
• Never sit furniture on electrical cords.
• Follow all manufacturers instructions for plugging appliances into electrical outlets.