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ACFD: Home Oxygen Contributed to Spread of Weekend Apartment Fire

Multiple residents temporarily displaced.

Three people reportedly jumped through a second-floor window to escape a weekend apartment fire. Photo: Arlington County Fire Department Twitter feed
Three people reportedly jumped through a second-floor window to escape a weekend apartment fire. Photo: Arlington County Fire Department Twitter feed

The cause of a weekend apartment fire that sent one man to the hospital with critical injuries and temporarily displaced 136 others remained under investigation Monday, though Arlington County Fire Department officials said home oxygen, used for medical purposes, contributed to the blaze's rapid spread.

The department did not have an update on the critically injured man on Monday. Three other residents were taken to the hospital after the Sunday morning blaze for issues with pre-existing medical conditions.

More than 80 firefighters from Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax County battled the blaze, which began in Apartment 213 at 850 S. Greenbrier St.

One man was rescued from a smoke-filled hallway. Three others reportedly jumped from a second-floor window, according to a news release. Firefighters carried another 20 people out on ladders.

A temporary shelter housed 120 second-floor residents displaced by the fire. Those people have returned home, Lt. Sarah-Maria Marchegiani told Patch.

Another 16 people from apartments above the main blaze remained displaced Monday morning, though they could return home as early as tonight, Marchegiani said.

Damage was estimated at about $50,000, though the building is salvageable.

"They'll have to completely renovate Apartment 213, and some damage to the apartment above it, but the building itself is structurally in good condition," Marchegiani said.

No firefighters were injured.

The Arlington County Fire Department issued the following safety tips for home oxygen on Monday:

  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used.
  • Never use an open flame, including candles, matches and lighters, around oxygen.
  • Keep oxygen cylinders at least five feet from all heat sources.
  • Make sure your home has smoke alarms on every floor and in every bedroom.
  • Have and practice your home escape plan. 
This article has been updated.

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