An intense one-alarm house fire on S. Oak St. in the City of Falls Church just before noon Monday morning has left one person in the hospital and significant damage to nearly half the home.
City of Falls Church fire marshal Henry Lane determined that the fire was accidental.
“It’s not confirmed, but the cause could be a space heater plugged into an electrical power strip,” said Lane, according to press release from the City. “If so, this is part of a bad national trend. Power strips cannot handle the demands of a space heater. People should plug them directly into an outlet.”
The condition of the woman who was in the house at the time the fire started is still not known.
The “sound of an explosion” was reported, per Justin Tirelli, the public information officer for Arlington County Fire, at a single-family house on the 400 block of S. Oak around 11:45 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10. An adult woman was home alone at the time the fire started and was pulled out of the house by an unidentified bystander, where she was then transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Tirelli said there is no official determination yet in which part of the structure the fire started. The blaze was mostly concentrated on all levels of the house’s left side, per Tirelli, but began spreading rapidly once it reached the attic due the amount of exposed wood typically found there. Crews from the City of F.C. and Arlington entered the home and quickly contained the stronger-than-normal one-alarm fire after arriving on the scene.
Lane, the City’s fire marshal, stated the damage to the property is valued at $150,000.
The location of the fire is about a block north from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School Road and across the street from the school’s soccer field. According to a tweet from Falls Church City Public Schools, “There is no threat to TJ property or kids. TJ students will remain inside, which they would anyway due to the rain.”
City of Falls Church public information officer, Susan Finarelli, said the fire should not affect TJ’s dismissal either.
According to a FCCPS tweet, as of 2:50 p.m., all emergency vehicles have left the scene, and Oak St.t and sidewalks been reopened.
A GoFundMe campaign (www.gofundme.com/f/south-oak-street-fire-recovery )started by neighbors has raised nearly $3,000 to help with the fire recovery.