On Tuesday, April 16, at 3:00 p.m., fire and rescue units were dispatched to a reported structure fire located in the 12300 block of Aztec Place in Lake Ridge.
First-arriving units reported fire showing from the rear of a two-story single-family dwelling with fire extending into the attic. Responding personnel verified that all occupants escaped safely from the home as they attacked and extinguished the fire and checked for extension to surrounding homes. No further extension was found.
The fire on the rear deck was discovered by the residents who had just returned home; they attempted to suppress the fire with a water hose prior to evacuating the premises and calling 911.
No injuries were reported.
Red Cross assisted the residents, two adults and two children, who were displaced as a result of the fire.
County Police assisted with scene and traffic management.
A representative from the Building Official’s Office posted the structure unsafe due to structural damage.
The preliminary damage estimate is approximately $18,000.00.
The origin of the fire was the deck; the cause of the fire is classified as undetermined and is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office.
As the weather becomes warmer and grilling season begins, Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue (www.pwcgov.org/fire) would like to remind residents to keep safety in mind when operating a grill.
Safety Tips for Outdoor Grilling
· Gas and charcoal grills must only be used outdoors maintaining a 15 foot clearance.
· Position the grill well away from siding, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
· Place grills a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic.
· Keep children and pets away from grill areas; declare a three-foot “safe zone” around the grill & NEVER leave the grill unattended.
· Put out several long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames when flipping food.
· Periodically remove grease or fat build-up in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.
· Purchase the proper starter fluid and store the can out of reach of children, and away from heat sources.
· NEVER add charcoal starter fluid when coals or kindling have already been ignited, and NEVER use any flammable or combustible liquid other than charcoal starter fluid to get the fire going.
· Check the gas cylinder hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. A light soap and water solution applied to the hose will quickly reveal escaping propane by releasing bubbles. If you determine your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame:
o Turn off the gas tank and grill.
o If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
o If the leak does not stop, call 911.
· If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call 911. DO NOT attempt to move the grill.
· All gas cylinders manufactured after April 2002 must have overfill protection devices (OPD). These devices shut off the flow of gas before capacity is reached, limiting the potential for release of propane gas if the cylinder heats up. They are easily identified by their triangular-shaped hand wheel.
· Use only equipment bearing the mark of an independent testing laboratory. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to set up the grill and maintain it.
· NEVER store propane gas cylinders in buildings or garages. If you store a gas grill inside during the winter, disconnect the cylinder and leave it outside.