UPDATE: Four-Alarm Fire Caused by Cooking on Third Floor Balcony
Dozens of firefighters responded to Eisenhower Circle in Woodbridge. Almost two dozen families were displaced in the four-alarm fire.
Update, 5:30 p.m.:
The July 5 fire on Eisenhower Circle in Woodbridge was likely caused by someone cooking on the third floor balcony, Rebecca Barnes, public relations specialist for the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department, announced.
"The cause of the fire appears to be related to cooking materials utilized on the third floor balcony, which is against safety code in Prince William County," Barnes said. "Prince William County Building Code Enforcement has condemned the buildings at this time."
A total of three firefighters were taken to Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center Hospital for heat-related and smoke-related injuries and sickness, Barnes said.
OWL VFD, Dale City VFD, Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue, Dumfries-Triangle VFD, Quantico Marine Corps, the City of Manassas, Buckhall VFD, Fairfax County Fire Department and Prince William County Police Department all responded.
Update, July 6, 8:30 a.m.:
The fire that raged through two apartments yesterday on Eisenhower Circle in Woodbridge might have been worse if it wasn't for an 11-year-old boy, who banged on doors and pulled fire alarms in an attempt to keep his friends safe, ABC7 reports.
Fire officials said Rylton Thomas might be the reason the fire left no civilians injured.
A four-alarm fire has displaced 23 families tonight at the Woodbridge Station apartments on Eisenhower Circle in Woodbridge.
The fire started in one top-floor apartment around 6:30 p.m. and spread through the roof to another apartment. There is significant structural damage to two apartments and other apartments may have smoke-related damage.
A few firefighters are being treated for smoke inhalation and heat, according to Rebecca Barnes, public relations specialist for the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department.
The fire marshal has not determined the initial cause of the fire. The intense heat (outside temperatures were in the upper 90s when the fire started) and smoke from the fire forced the initial fire responders to work in shorter shifts, and the need for relief is what pushed the fire to four alarms, Barnes said.
Drivers are being turned away fom the area. The apartments are located just northwest of St. Thomas Aquinas Regional School west of Route 1.
Stay with Patch tonight — we'll update the story as more information becomes available.