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Candle cited for March 8 house fire that displaced 20 residents in Woodbridge

Twenty people - five adults and 15 children - were displaced Friday when a house in the 6100 block of Oust Lane, Woodbridge, caught fire as a result of a burning candle, according to Matt Smolsky, Assistant Fire Chief/Fire Marshal.

Prince William County fire and rescue units were dispatched to the house fire on Friday, March 8, 2024 at 1:30 p.m.

Crews arrived to find the occupants out of the home and located the fire in a second-floor bedroom.  Hose lines were advanced quickly, and extinguishment was performed. The structure sustained moderate damage. No injuries were reported, according to Smolsky.

He said the PWC Building Official declared the home unsafe to occupy. The Red Cross responded and assisted the family of 5 adults and 15 children who were displaced.

According to Smolsky, the Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire was caused by a candle igniting bedding material. The fire official said, “Allowing an open flame near any combustible material is dangerous.”

The Fire Marshal’s Office issued this warning against the use of candles. “If candles are used, special precautions should be taken. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Never position a candle where it can be easily disturbed or knocked over. Keep the candle at least three feetfrom any combustible material. Ensure the candle is secured in a sturdy holder where the flame is contained and protected.  Children and pets should always be monitored in the vicinity of a burning candle.”

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