Tysons, VA

Fire investigators say an accidental “electrical event” sparked a McLean house fire earlier this week, resulting in millions of dollars worth of damage and displacing seven people.

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue said today that the fire started in the basement and was discovered after one of the people in the house heard a crackling noise.

“The fire was caused by an electrical event with the wiring to the air handler,” according to the fire department. “This then spread to ordinary combustibles in close proximity.”

The three-alarm fire in the 800 block of Dolley Madison Blvd prompted Route 123 to temporarily close on Monday (March 2).

Damage from the fire is worth approximately $3,523,850, and seven people, who declined Red Cross assistance, were displaced, the fire department said.

More from the fire department:

Units arrived on the scene of a large two and a half story, single-family home with smoke showing. Crews located fire between first and second floor that was extending upward. A second alarm was requested which included two units from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

Firefighters continued with an interior fire attack but were faced with numerous remodeled areas in home with void and inaccessible spaces. Fire continued up into the attic and began to extend through the roof. A third alarm was requested.

Units evacuated the home and master streams and handlines were used to continue extinguishment from outside. One civilian was transported to a hospital for evaluation. No firefighter injuries were reported.

Seven occupants were home at the time of the fire. The fire was discovered when one of the occupants heard a loud noise described as crackling. She then saw smoke coming from the light switch and outlets on the top floor.

Smoke alarms sounded after the fire was discovered. Another occupant noted fire in the basement and attempted to extinguish it unsuccessfully. All occupants self-evacuated prior to fire department arrival.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter

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