Two Virginia Firefighters Injured in Senior Apartment Fire

John Covey is a career firefighter with Washington DC with Truck Company 3, Platoon #3.

Two Prince William firefighters were injured at 4:42 a.m. Saturday in a fire at the River Run Senior Apartment community at 13900 Hedgewood Drive, near the intersection of Minnieville Road and Prince William Parkway, said Battalion Chief C. Hadden Culp.

One of the firefighters, Assistant Chief Jon Covey, was flown to Washington Hospital Center with severe burns on his hand and face after a piece of the roof collapsed on him during search-and-rescue operations, Culp said.

"He had second degree burns to the back of his neck and some on his face. On the back of his hands, second degree, and he had third degree burns on his palms,"

Culp said of Covey, a firefighter with the Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department. "It's not a whole lot of volume on the body but when it's your hands or your face it's considered pretty serious," Culp said.

Rick DuFlocq, OWL Volunteer Fire Department spokesman, said Covey's injuries are not life-threatening.

"He's resting and they've got the burns treated, but there's going to be some recovery period," DuFlocq said.

An unidentified Dale City volunteer firefighter received less serious steam burns and is doing well, Culp said.

"She had some steam burn on her hands. She was treated on the scene," Culp said.

None of the residents of the apartment complex were injured in the fire, Culp said.

"We had close to a hundred people living in this building. We were very lucky here," Culp said Saturday around noon at the apartment complex in Woodbridge.

Investigators have not yet determined the cause of the fire, which caused an estimated $6 million worth of damage, Culp said. More than 80 firefighters, rescue workers and police officers responded to the fire and helped carry the less ambulatory of the residents out of the burning building, Culp said.

"It was certainly a combined effort between the police and the firemen to get all of those occupants," Culp said.

While most of the residents went to stay with family members, others were able to move into vacant apartments at the complex and the American Red Cross provided hotel rooms for the remainder of those displaced by the fire, Culp said.

Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 45 minutes, Culp said.

At least 40 firefighters from outlying units were called to a second fire at 10:21 a.m. Saturday that destroyed a town house at 3517 Covered Bridge Lane in Woodbridge, Culp said.

Fairfax County and Quantico Marine Corps Base firefighters and volunteers from Buckhall, Stonewall Jackson, Coles District and Dale City Volunteer Fire Departments joined volunteers from Dumfries-Triangle, OWL and Lake Jackson volunteers to fight the fire that spread into the two adjacent town homes, DuFlocq said.

"The reason some of those folks from out of our immediate area were there was they were fill-ins for Dale City and OWL who were on Hedgewood," DuFlocq said.

The Prince William fire marshal also condemned the town homes at 3519 and 3515 Covered Bridge Lane because of fire, water and smoke damage, DuFlocq said.

The residents of those two homes were treated for minor injuries at the scene and released, DuFlocq said.

The woman who lived in the town house where the fire started was taken to the hospital for potential smoke inhalation, DuFlocq said.

The damage to the three homes was estimated at $500,000, Culp said. Story on Assistant Chief Jon Covey