Recent Fire Damage Posts

We Can Clean the Mess Left by Your Fire Emergency System

5/20/2022 (Permalink)

Large factory hangar after being cleaned of fire suppressing powder One of the many areas of the factory that was covered in white powder that we cleaned.

We respond to all manner of fire related emergencies.  From large kitchen blazes to contained cigarette fires put out quickly, we have the experience and expertise to mitigate and reconstruct any damage.  Sometimes, we even get calls for an overly sensitive fire emergency system.

For instance, a small fire at a commercial factory set off their relatively new fire emergency system.  Instead of just focusing where the fire was, the system spread fire suppressing foam across the entire facility.  After it had disintegrated, the foam left a thick white powder that covered everything.  In short, the clean up of the powder far outstripped the clean up of the actual fire.  It was nothing our team couldn’t handle, though, and the factory was as good as before in no time.

Obviously, its better to have a sensitive fire emergency system than one that doesn’t work at all.  However, if you can check, at least once a year, that your system is properly calibrated, you can save a lot of time and money on potential clean up.

Electrical Fires Are No Joke

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Bedroom charred by fire exposing wood beams and insulation Even the TV was melted in this electrical fire.

We here at SERVPRO encounter many different fire damage emergencies, from gas stoves improperly turned off, to faulty heaters.  Arguably, electrical fires can be the most sinister.   They are mostly preventable if you take the proper precautions, like not overloading any one outlet or not running cords underneath carpets.  Sometimes though, they just short out, like at this job we finished recently.

When the wall outlet on the second level bedroom of this townhouse blew, it started a fire that consumed the whole floor.  The walls, ceiling, and floor of each room suffered massive damage and were beyond repair.  Our mitigation team was forced to completely gut the entire area, stripping away everything to just floorboards and studs.

The only precaution that may have avoided this disaster is making sure that every ten years, a licensed electrician checks the home’s entire electrical system.  Aside from that, you can always count on our mitigation team to clear out the damage, and our construction team to then rebuild it.

Experienced A Fire Loss? Call the professionals at SERVPRO!

1/28/2022 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO box truck parked outside. We are always ready to respond to your fire damage emergency!

Available 24-hours a day, we here at SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt are primed to react “faster to any size disaster,” whether that be a small electrical fire or a huge gas leak blaze.  Every fire loss is unique, requiring different techniques and equipment to completely restore the damage.  Our team is IICRC trained and certified to handle them all, ensuring our customers the very best results. 

Call Today! (703) 665-7420

The fire damage restoration process starts with our Production Team disposing all the unsalvageable debris from the fire.  Once cleared away, they work to save any smoke and soot affected valuables and furniture, eliminating any nasty odors that may have set in.  Finally, our Construction Team steps in to fully restore any structural damage to walls and flooring.  When finished, they make your home or business look “Like it never even happened.”

All along the way, we make sure to keep our customers informed of the process.  Fire damage doesn’t just devastate physical buildings.  Fire damage can also take quite a heavy emotional toll on those that live and work in those buildings.  This is why we are so committed to providing the most caring and transparent guidance in the industry.  Helping our customers navigate such a difficult time in their lives is a huge responsibility we do not take lightly.  When all is said and done, we strive to offer the most complete fire restoration service to our customers.

Preventing Winter Fires

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Living room with a charred hardwood floor and lounge seats covered with soot from a fire.  Simple prevention measures can help keep you from experiencing fire damage like this.

It’s easy to overlook, but the risk of house fires actually increases in the winter months.  In fact, “half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February” according to the U.S. Fire Administration.  Many factors contribute to this, including unkempt fireplaces, improper electrical appliance usage, and candles.  All of these made worse by the colder weather.  So, before you get too cozy indoors this winter, take a moment to enact some simple fire prevention steps.

It may be simple, but before you start using your fireplace, have a professional clean and inspect your chimney and vents to make sure they are safe to use.  Optimally, this should be done every year.  You should also make sure to store the cooled ashes from your fireplace in a tightly covered metal container and keep the container outside at least 10 feet away from any buildings.

To reduce the risk of electrical fires, make sure you plug only one heat-producing appliance directly into a wall outlet at a time.  This includes space heaters and kitchen appliances like microwaves and toasters.  Also, it is important to never use an extension cords with these appliances, as it increases the chance of sparks.

As for candle safety, the most important tip is to make sure you keep all lit candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable.  In fact, it is recommended to use battery-operated flameless candles instead of real ones in the event of power outages.

With these simple tips in your back pocket, you can rest easy, and enjoy the warmth and comfort of your house during these cold months.  For more information on preventing winter fires, make sure to visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website here:  And if you do experience a fire this winter, we are always here to help restore your house “Like it never even happened."

3 Important Home Fire Safety Equipment

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Basement covered in insulation and debris from a fire. Help prevent fire damage like this with these 3 fire safety equipment.

As the weather gets colder and colder outside, we turn more to our houses for refuge. But when our time spent indoors with our fireplaces and heaters increases, so does the risk of house fires. With that in mind, we put together a quick, easy list of important fire safety equipment everyone should have in their house to help prevent fires.

Fire Extinguisher –

While this may seem obvious, having a working ABC-class fire extinguisher in the house is often overlooked.  Cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires according to the National Fire Protection Association, so it is strongly recommended to keep at least one of these in the kitchen

Smoke Detectors –

Probably the first line of defense for those unaware a fire has even started, it is recommended to place at least one in a centralized area of each floor of your house, including one for each bedroom.  In fact the National Fire Protection Association reports that almost two-thirds of fire related casualties happen in homes without a working smoke detector.  To help with the chore of keeping your smoke detectors working, you can even purchase some with sealed 10-year batteries.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms –

Just as important, these alarms detect the deadly, colorless gas Carbon Monoxide.  A CO leak in tandem with a fire can be devastating.  You can even find combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.  Like smoke detectors, make sure to place them in centralized locations on each floor of your house as well as in the bedrooms. And regularly test them to ensure they are working properly.

We hope that this quick reminder on the importance of these 3 pieces of fire safety equipment will help keep you and your home safe this winter. And if you do experience any fire damage, you can always count on us to clean it up “Like it never even happened.”

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Infographic on fried turkey safety. Find flat area, use gloves, and be prepared with fire extinguisher. Tips for your fried turkey!

Thanksgiving dinner is one of most special meals of the year for any family, but without proper care and attention, it may turn disastrous. In fact. according to the National Fire Protection Association, “Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average.” This is why it is so important to practice the proper fire safety when cooking your delicious turkey. Check out these tips listed below to ensure your Thanksgiving doesn’t go up in flames.

For general oven and stovetop cooking:

  • Always stay in the kitchen to attend your food while cooking on the stove.
  • Frequently check the oven where your turkey is being cooked.
  • Keep children and pets away from any hot surfaces.
  • Keep all cooking surfaces clear of unneeded items, including the floor to avoid trips and falls.
  • Test your smoke alarms before starting
  • Know where you keep your fire extinguisher and make sure it hasn’t expired.

If you prefer your turkey deep fried:

  • Only use a deep fryer outside, at least 10 feet away from your house and anything flammable.
  • Make sure the fryer is at ground level on a flat and sturdy surface
  • Place the turkey in the pot with water before using oil to test the correct amount needed for cooking.
  • Wear long protective gloves that cover your hands and arms.
  • Thaw the turkey completely before frying.
  • Frequently use a cooking thermometer so that the oil doesn’t overheat.
  • DO NOT use water on a grease fire so make sure to always keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Bonus tip:

  • If you don’t have a working fire extinguisher on hand, you can use baking soda in an emergency.

The most important safety tip, however, is to call 911 when a fire grows out of control.

We hope that this friendly fire safety reminder will help you and your family enjoy Thanksgiving to the fullest.  And if your family does experience a fire, know that our family is just a phone call away, fully prepared to clean up any damage. For more fire safety tips, you can visit and

Understanding How Wet Smoke Can Affect Your Home After A Fire in the Rose Hill/Fort Hunt Area

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Wet smoke is one of the trickier forms of smoke damage to deal with as a homeowner. In this short article we'll take a closer look at wet smoke and discover what makes it so difficult to clean as well as explain why you'll probably need a fire and smoke damage restoration professional (like SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt) to clean any belongings that have sustained wet smoke damage.

Wet Smoke

Wet smoke damage is a result of fires caused by rubber and plastic. Such fires typically result in smoldering, low-heat fires which cause thicker and darker smoke. 

The composition and nature of  wet smoke residue creates this very dense and sticky residue that can easily cover the entire surface of an affected object and very difficult to remove without professional grade equipment.

and dense, it has no problem completely covering your home or business’s surfaces and often smears during the cleaning process. This makes it difficult to remove without special equipment.

This means if any of your belongings were exposed to a plastic or rubber based fire it is going to be almost impossible to get them properly cleaned without attention from a fire and smoke damage restoration specialist (like the ones at SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt.)

If any of your belongings were exposed to a house or commercial building fire give SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt a call at (703) 665-7420 today. We handle all our clients quickly, professionally and with the highest quality of customer service!

Understanding How Dry Smoke Can Affect Your Home After A Fire in the Rose Hill/Fort Hunt Area

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

pan with high fire A picture of how high even a controlled flame can get

Smoke damage is an often overlooked consequence of a fire. Many of our customers tell us they could never imagine that belongings that weren't directly touched by the flames could be so damaged! In this short article we'll explore the one of the most common types of smoke damage. Hopefully this information will help you identify the level of smoke damage your belongings may have sustained if they were in a fire.


Dry smoke is created by fires caused by paper or wood. Its powdery in texture and doesn't smear when being wiped, making it one of the easier types of smoke damage to clean IF it hasn't fallen into small cracks or pores of your furniture or belongings. If it has, the smoky odor will remain, even after you clean the visible residue off, and you'll need professional help, like the help we provide here at SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt, to deep clean it for you.

Remember, its easy to think you can clean and repair smoke damaged objects by yourself, but smoke damage is tricky and will often times need professional attention.

In the event of smoke damage please call SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt at (703) 665-7420.

Understanding How Fuel/Oil Residue Can Affect Your Home After A Fire in the Rose Hill/Fort Hunt Area

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

A house fire is one of the hardest things to plan for. The devastation of a fire is always overwhelming, and the aftermath can leave a homeowner numb. This is because, in addition to direct damage from flame exposure, many pieces of furniture and household belongings can sustain serious smoke damage often times making it feel like the fire took everything. In this article we'll explore how a very specific type of smoke damage can affect your home and belongings after a fire and how you can hope to salvage them.

Fuel/Oil Residue

Fuel/oil residue, also known as petroleum residue is a little more common in commercial building fires than in residential (because residences typically don't store petroleum based products), however,it’s common for a building’s furnace to have a “puffback” where it doesn’t ignite properly and releases soot and smoke into the surrounding space in the form of a small leak or even minor explosion.

This means you can be dealing with fuel residue smoke damage even when there hasn’t been a fire!

Petroleum residue is difficult to clean because it's dense, sticky and has a strong odor that can seep deeply into upholstery.

This means if any of your belongings were exposed to a petroleum based fire it is going to be almost impossible to get them properly cleaned without attention from a fire and smoke damage restoration specialist (like the ones at SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt.)

If any of your belongings were exposed to a house or commercial building fire give SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt a call at (703) 665-7420 today. We handle all our clients quickly, professionally and with the highest quality of customer service!

How Quickly A Fire Can Spread Through Your Rose Hill/Fort Hunt Home

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

House fires are terrible tragedies and terribly dangerous. Experts say a small kitchen fire can become life threatening in anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes! After 5 minutes an entire residence is at risk of being engulfed in flames.

As fire damage restoration experts, SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt have seen just how devastating a fire can be. In this short article we'll explain how fires spread through a home so quickly.


Fires typically start in the kitchen area as either the cause of an appliance malfunction, overcooking or oil fire. The initial spark is the easiest to deal with and is the best chance a homeowner has at stopping the spread of the fire.


After about 30 seconds, the fire starts to build and spread engulfing any near by oils and flammable residues. 

If the fire started near a highly flammable source, its at this point the fire can "explode" and become life threatening to anyone in its immediate vicinity.

Homeowners still have a chance to stop the fire in its track at this point! Covering the flame if its in a pot or pan will restrict the flow of oxygen in the fire, causing it to die down.


At this point the flame is starting to engulf the kitchen, eating away at all flammable materials like wooden cabinets and utensils.

It is also at this point that poisonous gasses like carbon monoxide start to be released into the air, at large enough quantities that even just a few breaths will render someone unconscious.


The flame continues to grow within the kitchen and the entire house starts becoming uninhabitable.


The Flashover occurs! This is like a fireball explosion. All the oxygen in the room is sucked up into the fire, and the heat is intense enough to cause everything in the room to ignite into flames!


The flame starts to spread through hallways into other rooms, the entire residence is now in imminent danger of being engulfed in flames.


The entire house is virtually on fire.

Unfortunately fires move very quickly and after the first minute there's almost nothing any homeowner can do except evacuate and start considering what to do after the fire.

If you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing fire damage restoration service, give SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt a call at (703) 665-7420.

Understanding How Protein Residue Can Affect Your Rose Hill/Fort Hunt Area Home

6/4/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke damage can be incredibly tricky to deal with. It's incredibly how long smoke odors can linger, even when an object wasn't directly exposed to the flames!

In this article we'll quickly explore one of the trickiest forms of smoke damage; protein residue.

Protein Residue

When organic material evaporates during a low-heat fire, protein residue is created. This is usually happens during a kitchen fire.

This type of smoke damage is essentially invisible with no noticeable soot or streaking, but it can permanently discolor painted, varnished, or other finished surfaces.

It isn't uncommon for this kind of smoke damage to be underestimated because of hoe difficult it is to spot.

However, protein reside does leave a very unpleasant odor that often can permeate throughout an entire residence if the afflicted object remains uncleaned so it's important to reach out to a fire and smoke damage restoration service provider (like SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt) after a fire so they can diagnose and treat any smoke or fire damaged articles.

If any of your belongings were exposed to a house or commercial building fire give SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt a call at (703) 665-7420 today. We handle all our clients quickly, professionally and with the highest quality of customer service!

Rose Hill/Fort Hunt Area Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Rose Hill/Fort Hunt will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (703) 665-7420