A fire engulfed a Fairfax City apartment building early yesterday morning, injuring six persons, displacing 18 persons from their homes and causing an estimated $250,000 in damage, according to fire department officials.
The two-alarm blaze, which fire officials called accidental, started in a second-floor bedroom at 12:41 a.m. in a three-story building at Layton Hall Apartments, 10330 Layton Hall Dr. It sent six people to area hospitals, officials said.
"Everything's gone," said resident Marie Griner, 45, fighting back tears. "That's mine right there," Griner said, pointing to a charred apartment. "It was mine . . . . It's not mine no more," she said.
Griner said she was about to go to bed when she heard something "pop." She looked out a window, saw the fire and called the fire department.
Police units arrived first and began rescuing residents from balconies before the first fire units arrived, said Gene Dailey, chief of the Fairfax City Fire and Rescue. He said efforts of two firefighters probably saved the life of Charles P. Smith, who was discovered in the apartment where the fire started. Dailey said a smoke detector with the batteries removed was found in a closet of the apartment.
Smith, 23, was listed in fair condition last night at Fairfax Hospital where he was treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
Mary Hopkins, 66, a resident, Officer David Tucker and three firefighters were taken to Commonwealth Hospital where they were treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries and released, fire officials said.
Apartment Manager Pat Kilgore said that Griner, who had no insurance, was going to be placed in a motel by the Red Cross. Some displaced residents were staying with relatives in the area or in other apartments at the complex, she said.
Roommates Beth Barrett, 25, and Kathy Gill, 27, who were packing up their cars yesterday, were luckier than Griner. "I woke up, heard fire engines and heard a smoke alarm out in the hall," Barrett said yesterday, as she stuffed sweaters, books and a hair dryer in the back of her blue Grand Prix Pontiac.
Barrett said she and Gill had been planning to move on Oct. 26. "I just wish it had been last month that we left."