Lawn tractor’s exhaust causes $231K house fire

WASHINGTON – Hot exhaust from a riding lawn tractor accidentally caused a $231,500 house fire in the Fairfax Center area of Fairfax County Wednesday.

The exhaust ignited dry ground cover and quickly spread to the siding of a single-family home at 5105 Pheasant Ridge Rd. Wednesday afternoon.

When firefighters got on the scene, they encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the home and its garage.

The fire in the outside brush spread rapidly toward trees and other homes, prompting a second alarm.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue says the storage of gas and vehicles in and near the garages, as well as a number of combustible items in the home, hampered firefighting efforts.

The fire sent three firefighters to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. One was flown to the Washington Hospital Burn Center.

The man who lived in the house escaped without injuries.

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