A fire that started in a bird's nest built atop a floodlight on an outer wall of a gracious Tudor-style home caused an estimated $150,000 damage to the house at 5105 Ravensworth Rd. in Annandale yesterday.
The nest, built just under the eaves of the house, ignited because of heat from the floodlight. The fire spread quickly to the third-story attic, helped by a large attic ventilating fan that pulled the fire to it, according to Capt. Edwin Kibler of the Fairfax County Fire Department.
The fire was discovered by the teen-aged son of the homeowners, Joseph and Pat Vizzini, and the youth first attempted to fight the flames with a garden hose, according to Kibler. A fire truck, returning from the scene of a nearby accident, spotted smoke spewing from the attic.Two alarms and about 45 minutes later, the fire was brought under control, Kibler said.
By then it had destroyed the attic and much of the second floor of the home, which officials estimated was worth about $340,000. No family members were injured in the fire.
However, firefighter John Langley suffered face, neck and wrist burns and was treated and released from Fairfax Hospital.
Kibler said the family had the floodlights, which lit the back yard and its swimming pool, turned on in order to replace some burnt-out bulbs.
"We've had fires before started in bird's nests," Kibler said. "But it certainly doesn't happen often." CAPTION: Picture 1, Fairfax County firefighters battle a blaze that did $150,000 damage to an Annandale house yesterday after heat from a floodlight ignited a bird's nest.; Picture 2, Joseph Vizzini holds his wife, Pat, during fire at their home in Annandale. Photos by Robert Durle