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Update: No Charges in McLean House Fire

Juvenile playing with lighter started McLean house fire

UPDATE: The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department has closed its investigation into a two-alarm fire in a Linway Terrace house earlier this month. There are no charges.

Fire department spokesman Dan Schmidt would give no other details about the case.

In a statement released April 6, "According to fire investigators, a juvenile playing with a lighter caused the fire," the Fairfax County Fire department said. 

More than 60 Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and Arlington County Fire Department units responded to the house fire, at approximately 10:45 a.m. April 5 near St. John the Beloved Catholic Church. Damage was estimated at more than $100,000, the statement said.

Homeowner Arlene Leiva-Thomas' said the day of the fire, "My son was in the backyard starting to mow and the leaves caught fire" from a spark from the lawnmower.

She and her four children escaped the blaze. There were no injuries.

ORIGINAL STORY. April 6. A juvenile playing with a lighter started a two-alarm fire at the Linway Terrace home Thursday, not a spark from a lawnmower as fire officials and the family originally reported.

Homeowner Arlene Leiva-Thomas' said Thursday, "My son was in the backyard starting to mow and the leaves caught fire" from a spark from the lawn mower.

 "The shed caught on fire," Leiva-Thomas said. The fire spread to the left side of house. She stood near her two-story brick home where half the left side of the house was blistered and charred. The other half was melted siding. There was a huge hole in the roof and a piece of siding dangled from the second story. A tree in the yard still smoldered.

She and her four children escaped the blaze. There were no injuries.

"According to fire investigators, a juvenile playing with a lighter caused the fire," the Fairfax County Fire department said in a statement released Friday morning. The investigation is continuing to determine if anyone will be charged.

More than 60 Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and Arlington County Fire Department units responded to a house fire, at approximately 10:45 a.m. to the home near St. John the Beloved Catholic Church, the  Damage is estimated at more than $100,000, the statement said.

"Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from a shed, rapidly spreading up the vinyl siding of the nearby two-story home upon arrival.

"The fire was quickly advancing to the second floor, attic, and roof. Firefighters rapidly conducted an exterior sweep of the fire, while simultaneously advancing hose lines to the second floor of the home, fighting the fire in the attic and roof areas. Firefighters brought the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes," the fire department said.

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