Chantilly, VA – Early morning fire in middle school classroom extinguished by sprinkler system

At 2:00 a.m., Monday, May 17th, Fire and Rescue crews from Dulles South were dispatched for a fire alarm at J. Michael Lunsford Middle School, located at 26020 Ticonderoga Road. Firefighters arrived to find an active fire alarm and the presence of smoke inside the building. A full structure fire assignment, to include units from Brambleton, Fairfax County, and Dulles Airport, were dispatched to assist.

Firefighters located a small fire in a classroom which had been extinguished by an automatic fire sprinkler system. Fire department personnel remained on scene to ensure the extinguished material was removed, the utilities were secured and that the building was adequately ventilated. Once deemed safe, the building was turned over to Loudoun County Public Schools representatives. The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office conducted an investigation and determined the fire was accidental and estimated damages at $5,000.  There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. One pet reptile was removed from the room of origin and turned over to school staff for care.

This incident is a prime example of the positive impact of a fire protection alarm and automatic sprinkler system. A small fire in a classroom triggered the school’s monitored fire alarm system, which alerted firefighters, while the fire was quickly contained and extinguished by an automatic sprinkler system.  The damages to the building were minimized by the sprinkler system, allowing the school to remain open with little impact to the community and its students.

Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Officials continue to tout the importance of automatic fire sprinkler systems and their safety benefits. For more information on fire prevention activities and education in Loudoun County, visit or call 703-737-8600.

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