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Manassas issues preliminary findings in Dec. 16 townhouse fire

Fire Marshals from the City of Manassas Fire and Rescue Department assisted by an agent from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) conducted an investigation into the origin and cause of the fire that destroyed two townhouses and damaged two others in the Georgetown South Community on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015.

A preliminary finding indicates that the fire probably originated in the electric clothes dryer in the laundry room located in an exterior attached shed in the rear of one townhouse and spread to the other three.

Further forensic testing of the dryer is needed to accurately determine the ignition source; however, improper venting and overloading of lint is a consideration.

Damage to the four townhouses is estimated at approximately $500,000, according to a news release from Patty Prince, Communications Manager for the City of Manassas.

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