Fairfax County fire started by improperly discarded smoking materials; caused $48 million in damages, authorities say

Fire officials say a massive fire that tore through dozens of buildings in Fairfax County over the weekend caused $48 million in damage and was started by improperly discarded smoking materials.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department released the cause of the blaze and the damage estimates Thursday morning.

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Two firefighters and another person were hospitalized for minor injuries following the four-alarm blaze, which broke out around 9:40 a.m. Saturday near Route 1 and Poag St.reet in the Groveton area of Fairfax County.

A construction worker told firefighters the blaze started in a trash chute at a construction site on the scene before spreading to nearby buildings. The fire destroyed a five-story condominium building under construction and damaged another 14 town homes, four single-family homes, five apartment buildings, a commercial building and 28 vehicles.

Smoke from the fire could be seen over 20 miles away. The fire resulted in power outages and traffic delays around the area.