Area Firefighters responding to two separate fires in just four days in the city found the home's smoke detectors not working.
Thirteen residents were displaced as a result of the two fires, and one male was seriously burned, according to Manassas City Chief Fire Marshal Frank Teevan.
Firefighters from Manassas City, Manassas Park and Prince William County responded to a home on Long Hill Court in the early morning hours of April 20, where they located a 30-year-old man suffering from serious burns in the home's front yard.
According to Teevan, a fire started in a upstairs bedroom where the man was sleeping. Family members told investigators they were awakened by the man screaming and ran out of the home to find him in the front yard using a garden hose to spray water onto his burned legs.
Teevan said the man suffered serious burns to his legs and arm as well as smoke inhalation. He was transported by helicopter to the Burn Unit at Washington Hospital Center. The fire displaced four other family members. The Red Cross was assisting with temporary housing, Teevan said.
He said firefighters made a quick attack on the fire and contained it to the one bedroom. The only smoke detector in the home did not have a battery. The cause of the fire is still under investigation pending an interview with the injured man. Damage is estimated at $20,000.
Area firefighters also responded to a fire at a townhouse at 9370 Taney Road in the Georgetown South Community on Tuesday, April 24. Firefighters extinguished the fire that completely burned-out the kitchen of a middle-unit townhouse, Teevan said.
An adult male resident of the townhouse had been cooking and forgot to turn off the stove when he left to run an errand. A 12-year-old boy was home alone watching television in another room when he smelled smoke and discovered the fire in the kitchen. He ran across the street to a neighbor's house, who called 911. Fire Marshals found no working smoke detectors in the home. The Red Cross is assisting eight displaced occupants of the townhouse with temporary housing. Damage is estimated at $10,000.
The City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department has distributed thousands of free smoke detectors to residents since 2009. Since the Smoke Detector Give-Away Program started, Teevan said the department has distributed free smoke detectors, and installed some, for 27 percent of residents in the Georgetown South Community. To request a smoke detector at no cost to you from the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department, call 703-257-8458 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"These two fires serve as a reminder to all residents to never leave
food cooking on the stove unattended and to check the smoke detectors in
your home to ensure that they operate properly," Manassas Fire and Rescue Department Chief Brett Bowman said.
Fire officials are also reminding residents to make sure they properly dispose of smoking materials.
Teevan said other recent fires in the city were caused by the improper disposal of smoking materials, including a home on Quarry Road in March where residents discarded smoking materials into mulch around the house.
On Saturday, April 28, a fire broke out at a home at 10131 Forest Hill Circle. The fire started on the back deck where the occupants were placing their cigarette butts in a ceramic bowl filled with sand, Teevan said. The occupants advised fire marshals they were smoking about an hour before the fire, but had left the home.