LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA — Monday afternoon’s fire in Sterling was caused by a malfunctioning electric scooter battery, according to the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office. Officials said seven residents were displaced, and damages exceeded more than $700,000.
Two people who were in the home during the fire were treated on the scene for minor smoke inhalation, the fire marshal’s office said. One firefighter who worked the blaze was taken to a hospital for a “heat-related illness.”
The fire in the 20000 block of Ashcroft Terrace in Sterling was first reported to emergency personnel around 3 p.m. on Monday, June 21. First responders from Loudoun County and Fairfax County were dispatched to the scene, authorities said.
When they arrived, firefighters saw “heavy smoke and significant fire coming from a three-story, end unit townhouse.” Emergency personnel ensured that the occupants of the home were evacuated before they worked to extinguish the fire from the exterior.
“Once safe, firefighters made entry and rapidly extinguished the remaining fire, containing it to the original townhouse and limiting damages to adjoining townhomes,” the fire marshal’s office said. Authorities estimated the fire caused $30,000 in damages to the adjoining townhouse.
The fire marshal’s office was able to determine that the fire was caused by a battery malfunction in a charging electric scooter. They are still working to identify the exact make and model of the scooter.
The seven displaced residents represented three generations of a family, fire officials said. They are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
Now, a GoFundMe has been set up to help them get back on their feet. “Please help us support our friends who lost their home today to a tragic fire,” fundraising organizer Camilla Grant wrote on GoFundMe. “A family of five is now out of a home and have no belongings to carry on with, mot to mention the shock of losing their entire home in a short hour.”
The GoFundMe originally set a goal of $50,000 for the displaced family. At 4 p.m. on Thursday, the fundraiser had accumulated more than $41,000 in donations.
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