A fire caused by a pot of water left unattended on a stove caused significant damage to a Manassas town home early Tuesday morning and left eight people homeless.
The fire broke out just before midnight in the row townhouse on the 9000 block of New Britain Circle in Manassas, city officials announced in a press release on Tuesday.
One person in the house noticed the fire and warned the others; firefighters said all seven adults and one child inside the home were able to make it out alive.
One occupant was treated by EMS and was transported to Prince William Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Two other occupants were evaluated at the scene, but declined hospital treatment, authorities said. Fire crews from the City of Manassas, Prince William County and Manassas Park arrived on the scene and contained it within 20 minutes, city officials said.
Manassas Police were also on the scene to control the crowd while Manassas electric workers and Columbia Gas representatives assisted with utilities.
The fire didn’t spread to any neighboring units, but there is significant fire and smoke damage on the first and second floors of the townhouse with nominal water and smoke damage in the basement, firefighters said.
In all the fire caused a total of $150,000 in damage, city officials said.
The Red Cross was requested to assist the displaced residents.
Fire and Rescue personnel found two smoke alarms in the residence—one smoke detector appeared to be inoperable prior to the fire. Fire investigators can’t determine if the other one was working because it was destroyed in the blaze. None of the occupants could recall if a smoke detector was sounding at the time of the fire, city officials said.
“Smoke detectors save lives,” Manassas Fire and Rescue Department Chief Brett Bowman said in a release. “When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. With next week being fire prevention week, I’d like to remind residents to develop and practice a home fire escape plan which includes having two ways to get out of your home.”
For more information, or to get a free smoke alarm, contact the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department at 703-257-8458.