The Washington Post

Fire at home of federal judge under investigation

A Monday evening blaze that caused about $300,000 worth of damage to the McLean home of a federal judge is under investigation, Fairfax County fire officials said.

Heavy smoke and flames were coming from the left and rear sides of the second story of U.S. District Court Judge Liam O’Grady’s three-story residence when firefighters arrived at 7:30 p.m., fire officials said.

A teenager who was home at the time escaped without injury after being alerted to the blaze by a fire alarm, Fairfax County fire officials said. No one else was inside and no injuries were reported.

The home, which fire officials valued at about $1.4 million, is located on Massachusetts Avenue.

It took firefighters about 15 minutes to bring the two-alarm fire under control, Fairfax County fire officials said. The fire damaged second floor rooms and there was smoke and water damage on the first floor, fire officials said.

Investigators said the fire originated in a second floor bedroom, but the cause is still under investigation.

“Right now there’s nothing that tells us whether this is suspicious or not,”said Dan Schmidt, a spokesman for the Fairfax County fire department.

Schmidt said there is no timeline for the completion of the investigation.

O’Grady was appointed to the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia by President George W. Bush in 2007. He was formerly a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the same district. He also served as a state and federal prosecutor in Virginia.

A representative for the judge said he would not comment on the fire.

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