Two people are fighting for their lives after nine others, including children, were sent to the hospital when several residents jumped or climbed out windows during an accidental apartment fire in Herndon, Virginia, on Thursday evening.
Fairfax County fire officials said the flames began started in a three-story garden apartment on Park Avenue and were caused by an electrical event. Dozens of firefighters arrived on the scene around 6 p.m.
“Dispatch reported fire on a second floor apartment with it possibly going into a third floor,” Fairfax County Fire Captain Jason Pryor told WTOP.
UPDATE — Electrical Event Cause of Herndon Apartment Fire. Nine residents transported to the hospital. Two of the nine sustained life-threatening injuries. More: https://t.co/bNQlQ8GBlj #FCFRD pic.twitter.com/3uhapel0NV
— Fairfax County Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) December 3, 2021
Fire crews were able to put out the flames just before 7 p.m.
Fire officials said the fire was accidental and started in the bedroom on an apartment. The electrical fire was caused by a charging cable.
The four residents of the apartment where the fire started evacuated. The unit’s smoke alarms weren’t working, fire officials said.
Pryor said multiple people jumped out of windows because they were trapped by the fire. Fire officials said a mother and three young children even tied bed sheets together to escape the tallest story.
“Some bedsheets were tied from the window and they climbed over to the ground,” Pryor said. “It was pretty amazing to see the sheets back there.”
Of the nine people who were taken to the hospital, two had life-threatening injuries.
Prior said some of those sent to the hospital were as young as six years old.
One crew rescued three residents via ladder.
Fire officials said 11 units are uninhabitable and 44 people were displaced by the fire.
“There was pretty significant water, smoke and fire damage throughout the building,” Prior said. “Approximately 11 apartments are affected.”
Damages from fire were approximately $287,500.
Below is a map of where the fire occurred.
WTOP’s Jessica Kronzer contributed to this report.