Residents in a small Falls Church neighborhood are concerned about an seven bedroom, 7.5 bathroom home that fire investigators say was purposely set on fire earlier this month.
It is the second time in less than two years that the home —in the 2100 block of Haycock Road — has caught fire.
The previous time was in November 2010, when it still was under construction. Damage in that blaze was deemed by fire investigators to be a total loss, valued at $1 million.
”The cause of that fire was undetermined,” said Fairfax County Fire and Rescue spokesman Dan Schmidt.
Fairfax County records show the property is owned by Lawrence C. O’Conner of McLean. Messages left for O’Conner were not returned.
During the November 2010 blaze, firefighters said they used defensive measures to protect adjacent homes, but that one neighboring home still received minor heat damage as a result of the fire.
On July 14, county firefighters again were called out to the home. According to fire officials, firefighters responded shortly before 2:30 a.m. and reported light smoke coming from the top floor of the two-story home upon their arrival. They quickly extinguished the fire and reported the home was vacant and that there were no injuries. This time, damage was estimated at $25,000.
According to fire investigators, the recent fire was intentionally set and is under investigation. A sign posted on the property states “The fire department suspects that this fire was caused by arson.”
“No doubt about it this time,” said Schmidt. “This time we know the fire was intentionally set and if we find out who did it, we will bring charges.”
When the most recent fire occurred, the home again was under construction but, unlike the last time, it already was for sale — listed for $1.7 million with realtor Washington Fine Properties, LLC.
“We put this property on the market before it was completed because with a property like this, customers often want to do some customizing,” said WFP realtor Cynthia Howar.
On the WFP website, it states the average home value in the home’s Falls Church neighborhood is $491,000.
Carol Reedy, who lives in the 2100 block of Haycock Road near the 7,500 square-foot home, says she is concerned.
“This is the second time it has caught fire,” she said. “I don’t know if it is intentional or not, but it is very concerning. Every time it happens, I worry that the flames may spread to my house.”
Reedy said she had no idea why the home would be a target for arsonists.
“We are investigating, and I agree it is a strange one,” Schmidt said.